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Juniper Sees Quadruple

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News Analysis
Light Reading
3/28/2000
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Juniper Networks Inc. http://www.juniper.net has finally rolled out its long-awaited second generation router. So what's the skinny on this new box? Take the M40, its predecessor, multiply it by four and you have the M160. Ta-da! It's really as simple as that. Port density, capacity and the name are exactly four times greater than the M40. (For more details, check out the spec sheets on Juniper's site http://www.juniper.net/products/dsheet/100012.html).

"The name does give the story away," admits Scott Kriens, CEO of Juniper.

Unlike rival Cisco Systems, Inc. http://www.cisco.com, which won't be shipping OC-192c interfaces until later this year, Juniper is shipping OC-48 and OC-192 line cards for the M160 now, today.

And apparently that's good enough for UUNET, an MCI WorldCom Company http://www.uu.net. It announced today that it has already purchased M160s, and is using them to provide a 10 Gbit/s loop between New York City, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. http://www.juniper.net/news/pressreleases/pr-000328d.html

"We are constantly trying to push the technology envelope," says Kevin Boyne, senior VP of global network services for Uunet. "If we had used the GSR12016, we would have had to wait."

Still, even with capacity quadrupled in the M160, the router is still not even close to handling terabit capacity. Unlike Cisco, which pre-announced a 'terabit system' in January that is expected to ship at the end of this year, Juniper has made no mention of a 'terabit' strategy. With start-ups popping up daily professing to deliver on the terabit promise, is Juniper lagging behind? (see Terabit Turmoil )

"We entered 1999 with all those other vendors saying they were going to kick our butts, and we ignored it. Now, with the M160, our message is 'game over, guys,'" says Joe Furgerson, VP of marketing for Juniper.

The M160 certainly doesn't make life easier for Juniper's competition. Until now, the message from many of the terabit pretenders was that when they finally did bring out their first generation products, they would leapfrog Juniper. The announcement of the M160 is giving Juniper an opportunity to have fun with those claims. "We're now on our second generation of product and we still haven't seen anybody else's first generation. Where does that leave them?" Kriens adds.

Service providers tend to agree. "Multi-year strategies are fine. But delivering the latest technology today is essential in order to fuel growth," says Boyne of Uunet.

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