Juniper Mounts Pulpit for IP Services

It says new router software and interfaces will allow carriers to make more money from IP services

May 15, 2001

2 Min Read
Juniper Mounts Pulpit for IP Services

Juniper Networks Inc.(Nasdaq: JNPR) today (Tuesday) announced a series of hardware and softwareenhancements to its router line that are intended to make it easier for carriers toturn bits and bytes into dollars and cents.

The software upgrades allow carriers to use MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) to set up virtual private networks (VPNs) over IP-routed networks. Routing functions among VPNs are handled via BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). The combination of these technologies, the company claims, will allow service providersto retain the advantages of ATM and Frame Relay networks -- such as detailedbilling and quality of service -- over an IP infrastructure. Juniperis also announcing features that allow service providers to set up“accounting profiles” that collect statistics for accounting and billingapplications -- all the way down to the level of individual users.

On the hardware side, Juniper is announcing three new interfaces. Thefirst is a channelized STM1-to-E1 card that permits as many as 63 E1 (2.048Mbit/s) connections to be aggregated onto a single high-capacity opticalconnection. The second is a long-haul gigabit-Ethernet interface supportinglinks up to 70 kilometers. The third is a multilink PPP card that allowsservice providers to multiplex low-speed connections for greaterthroughput.

"We're moving beyond IP connectivity and networking to allow serviceproviders to focus on building infrastructure to generate revenue," saysCarl Showalter, vice president of marketing at Juniper.

It's persuasive schtick. The only problem is that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) offers equivalent features on its router platforms. Juniper claimsthat its capabilities will be easier to implement than Cisco's, for tworeasons. First, all heavy-duty processing will be performed on its InternetProcessor II ASICs, which Juniper claims will ensure that network performance remains high. Second,the various features can be added to networks via a single software downloadof the latest version of the Junos routing code, which runs across all ofJuniper's platforms.

It's too early to say how these claims will play out in the real world,although Juniper already has one key account preparing to deploy the newfunctions: Global Crossing Ltd. (NYSE: GX), which has said that it plans a worldwiderollout of VPN services based on the technology.

In the mean time, sources have told Light Reading that an even biggerannouncement is imminent: 40-Gbit/s interfaces for Juniper'score routers (see Juniper to Announce 40-Gig Strategy?).

— Stephen Saunders, Founding Editor, Light Reading

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