x
Optical/IP

Juniper Targets Carrier Services

Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) is touting a new marketing strategy that it hopes will help it get in the door of incumbent carriers.

The company has created a new service model -- called the MINT (Model for Integrated Network Transformation) -- that helps carriers create new data services revenue and save on operational costs, according to company officials (see Juniper Outlines Consolidated Vision).

The strategy itself is very different from Juniper’s traditional marketing campaigns. In the past, the company has highlighted its technical features as it tried to win over Internet service provider engineers. But now the company is targeting carrier executives who are less interested in faster routers than they are in generating new revenue and saving on operational costs.

“One thing that Juniper is trying to do is improve its executive-level relationships at large carriers,” says Mark Bieberich, an analyst with Yankee Group. “This model or vision that they are proposing resonates more with the upper echelon of large carrier organizations.”

As a result, Juniper is trying to change its image from Internet router supplier to network solutions provider. This means focusing attention on its multiservice strategy. Carriers agree that Internet Protocol (IP) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) are the future, but they aren’t willing to give up their old Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Frame Relay networks just yet (see Carrier Tech Architects Pipe Up).

Most incumbent carriers are planning to deploy multiservice gear next year as they build out their data networks. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) announced its strategy last month, sending the stock market into a frenzy (see Verizon Talk Stokes Stocks). SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) will soon announce a new data strategy; and there are rumors that AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) has recently issued a detailed RFP (request for proposal) that includes multiservice and MPLS routing and switching functionality.

Juniper has already made significant headway with incumbent carriers overseas. Just today it announced that Baharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India's largest telecom operator, has selected Juniper Networks M-series routers for India's first nationwide IP/MPLS network (see BSNL Picks Juniper Routers). In the end, what all these carriers are looking for is an infrastructure that can help them generate new revenue through new services while also lowering their operational costs.

“Juniper has realized that they need to communicate their message to the executives and not just the router jockeys,” says Michael Howard, an analyst with Infonetics Research Inc. “Even though the CTO may be fired up about a certain technology, it’s the CFOs that have the final say. It’s the reality if the new telecom age.”

But Juniper hasn’t completely abandoned its focus on technology. Buried within its new marketing message, the company today announced significant new product upgrades. Its IP routers family now comes with ATM functionality and finer-grained Quality of Service (QOS), and it includes an integrated policy management platform called the SDX. Juniper has also announced plans to integrate with third-party Open Source Solutions (OSS) vendors.

Let’s look at these one by one:

  • ATM enhancements
    Juniper has always supported ATM interfaces on its M- and T-series routers. Now it offers enhanced ATM services along with better port density. With its two-port ATM OC12 card, it can support up to 64 OC12 interfaces in half a telecom rack. It’s also added other features like rate shaping and rate limiting on ATM virtual circuits. These are features that were already present on the ERX edge routing platform the company acquired from Unisphere.

    Analysts say that adding more robust ATM features and increasing port densities of faster ATM interfaces is crucial for vendors looking to sell into incumbent networks.

    “Almost every ATM interface on routers today is useless in a carrier application,” says Tom Nolle, president of network consultancy CIMI Corp. He says that most ATM interfaces on routers only connect customers to existing ATM services, but they cannot be used to create or originate ATM services for a carrier.

    “Cisco, in the main, doesn’t offer carrier ATM interfaces,” adds Nolle, who consults for both Juniper and its archrival Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). “Even in special instances, Cisco currently can’t match the full range of features Juniper is talking about in its ATM offering.”

    Nolle admits that neither Juniper nor Cisco routers can be used as full-blown ATM switches, but he says that Juniper is closer to that functionality with its latest enhancements than is Cisco.

  • MPLS and IPv6
    Juniper devices already allow for an overlay of services using MPLS. Juniper has enhanced its MPLS offering to allow carriers to offer not only point-to-point Layer 2 IP virtual private networks (VPNs) through its support of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Martini and Kompella Drafts, but its routers will also support the enhanced Kompella specifications that will allow carriers to offer Ethernet-based VPNs otherwise known as transparent LAN services (see VPLS Standard Debated). It also added support for IPv6 VPNs, which is important for mobile wireless applications.

  • Q-Physical Interface Card (PIC)
    Juniper realizes that carriers need to have much more control over their traffic in order to offer new services, so it has introduced the new Q-PIC, which adds more fine-grained queuing capability to M- and T-series routers. Like its other interface cards, this one will be able to process packets at wire speed no matter what software service is turned on. This new interface card originated with Unisphere’s ERX. The Q-PIC will provide 4,096 queues per physical interface card; eight output queues per channel on 768 customer channels; and strict priority queuing along with Random Early Discard (RED) and Weighted Random Early Discard (WRED) queuing. And it will be able to channelize from OC48 to DS0.

  • OSS/SDX integration
    To tie all these elements together, Juniper says it will work with unannounced third-party software vendors to integrate its routers with carrier OSS solutions. This integration would allow carriers to map user requests to the various services and integrate these services with authentication and billing systems.

    Juniper also plans to integrate all of its products with Unisphere’s SDX service platform. This software-based management system offers enterprise users the ability to turn up new services and change existing services through a Web browser (see Edge Routing Gets Service Friendly ). A release date for this product across all platforms hasn’t been made public yet. It’s already available for the ERX platform.

    Juniper isn’t the only company working on this strategy. Cisco is also rumored to be working on OSS integration. But unlike Juniper, Cisco is expected to build its OSS systems itself.

If Juniper’s message about service creation and multiservice capabilities sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), which has used its ATM expertise to develop its service creation platform, has been banging on this drum for over a year now. Other companies, including CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN), Nortel Networks Corp. (Shasta)(NYSE/Toronto: NT), and Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), have focused on products targeted specifically at service creation.

But analysts believe that Juniper’s adoption of a service-creation message shows that new multiservice features will be router-based.

“We’ll see more and more services added to routers rather than creating separate boxes to handle these functions,” says Infonetics' Howard. “The [Nortel] Shasta’s of the world may not be needed much longer.”

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
gigeguy 12/4/2012 | 9:15:32 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services A router is a router is a router, not an ATM switch.
tsat 12/4/2012 | 9:15:30 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services Hmmm.. don't tell that to the numerous Multiservice Switch vendors putting routing on
ATM swiches.

Lipstick on a Pig? you belong here:
http://messages.yahoo.com/?act...

Who rated this fool a "5"?

-tsat
SweetOldWorld 12/4/2012 | 9:15:29 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services Here's the Juniper shtick (from their press release on MINT):

"MINT outlines a holistic approach for revitalizing ..."

Sounds like the intro to some herbal remedy for skin therapy :-)

-s
edgehead 12/4/2012 | 9:15:29 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services None of Juniper's devices are equipped to deliver the services that people are actually paying for (IPSec VPNs, managed firewalls, secure remote access). The reason they haven't already incorporated this functionality (which isn't actually "new") is because their devices can't scale or perform those services at anything approaching wire-speed. Sprint, Equant, Qwest, NTT, C&W wouldn't be using an IP Service Switch if they could.

MPLS is fine, but most remote sites and no mobile workers cannot take advantage of it. And who is using IPv6? Best of luck on the service BS Juniper
metroshark 12/4/2012 | 9:15:28 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services Reading through this article, it is not clear when Juniper will deliver these new features. In the past, Juniper has been pretty consistent about not pre-announcing products and features (unlike Cisco, for example), are they changing their tune? Why?
buliwyf 12/4/2012 | 9:15:26 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services JNPR is doomed. Wake up. As a corporate they will be squeezed mercilessly. As a product .... they have no support from the CFO's who make decisions now, CSCO does. Wake up, CTO's dont make decisons anymore.Juniper was a great (MAYBE THE BEST AND MOST RESPECTED) ip/svcs company around, they will survive (in some form) but as an investment... right.
Kevin Mitchell 12/4/2012 | 9:15:25 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services JNPR is changing their tune because the UNSP people are in charge of marketing now. UNSP was always a better marcomm shop. JNPR didn't NEED marketing in the beginning as their stock price generated news everyday and they focused on building solid routers.
xbar 12/4/2012 | 9:15:11 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services Both JNPR M and ERX series need convoluted architectural patches to support new requirements from major carriers. Q-PIC is another one (if it becomes reality) in a list of other service PICs with little success (tunneling, IPSEC, etc). In any case, its performance and features will not match Laurel and CSCO.

JNPR is doomed not because of the people working there (they are very bright), but because of the lack of architectural scalability. A good example is the continous chassis churn and forklift upgrades U need each year.

xbar
xbar 12/4/2012 | 9:15:10 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services 768x8=4096
tspoon 12/4/2012 | 9:15:02 PM
re: Juniper Targets Carrier Services While the MINT marketing plan shows JNPR's desire to look like a new integrated company after the Unisphere deal, it will take much more than talk to show that the spin is real. We now see a company with more to sell, and a company that needs to convince the service Providers and investment community that it is a warmer, more capable company. If you look at servicecreation.com you will find the Service Creation Community website. You will see that JNPR barrowed some great ideas from this group and also from net.com and others. This community has a core of the who's who in data and telecommunications as well as SP's in its membership, but no signs of JNPR Yet. If JNPR is going to do more than talk they must actually show that they are players in such organizations. Creative collaboration and turning up new profitable services for SP's requires committment, not talk.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE