Optical/IP Networks

Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup

Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) has turned up the heat at the edge. Today, the company announced two new edge routers specifically designed to replace Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) aging 7200 and 7500 routers (see Juniper Adds Edge Routers).

The M7i and the M10i are new additions to Juniper’s edge routing platforms. They fit into a portfolio that consists of the M5, M10, and M20 edge routers (see Juniper Goes to the Edge).

“It’s a different sales approach for Juniper than what they’ve been doing in the past,” says Kevin Mitchell, an analyst with Infonetics Research Inc. “It’s a brand new market opportunity for them. These boxes won’t be playing in straightforward RFPs [requests for proposal], but as replacements to existing networks.”

Mitchell says it’s a good opportunity for Juniper to expand its edge router market opportunity.

“There are thousands of [Cisco] 7200 and 7500 routers out there,” he says. “They’re an ageing generation. It probably won’t mean huge money for Juniper, but it’ll be a steady opportunity over the next couple of years.”

Juniper has about 20 percent of the edge router market, according to Mitchell. But most of these sales are not from its homegrown M-series routers, but rather from the E-series, the broadband aggregation and remote access routers that came out of the Unisphere acquisition (see The Face of the New Juniper).

By contrast, Cisco, which dominates the edge with 67 percent market share, is stronger in the traditional edge routing market, where the 7200 and 7500 make up the bulk of its installed base. But these products have been around for several years, and service providers are looking for replacements.

Cisco’s answer has been the 7300 and 7600 series routers. These are completely new platforms that bear little resemblance to the older generation. For example, the 7600 looks more like Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 LAN switch than it does the 7500 router.

"We have a broad portfolio of products," says Larry Yu, a spokesman for Cisco. "We’re continually looking at ways to improve the portfolio. Right now, we feel comfortable that our offering fits customers' needs."

So why hasn’t Juniper been able to crack this market with its existing M-series edge routers? The M5 has not offered enough integrated functionality, say many experts. The box only has four line-card slots, so to add features like NAT (network address translation) or IPSec, a service blade is used in one of the slots, taking up valuable port space. On the Cisco gear, these features are added via software, which allows it to maintain port density. But because they’re in software, performance suffers.

The M7i integrates NAT and IPSec into the device, allowing all four line-card slots to be used. It also comes with two fixed Gigabit Ethernet ports to face toward the LAN, making it a great fit for service providers to deploy as a managed device at the customer premises.

The biggest drawback for Juniper’s M10 is that it doesn’t offer fully redundant hardware. By contrast, the Cisco 7500 and the newer 7600 do. As a result, Juniper has added full hardware redundancy to the M10i. The company already offers hardware redundancy on its M20, M40, and T640 platforms.

“In Asia and in the Middle East, the points of presence are smaller,” says Mike Capuano, product marketing manager for the edge portfolio with Juniper. “The M20 is too big for these deployments. The M10 is a good fit. But because it’s being used as a provider edge device, it needs to be fully redundant.”

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 11:17:20 PM
re: Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup What does "i" stand for anyway?

The "i" is for "fresh and in your face", like the iPod, or the iMac.
photon_tim 12/4/2012 | 11:17:20 PM
re: Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup Sounds to me that the M10i is really a M10e?
The M40e added redundancy to the M40 - or a graceful way out if you bought a M160.

What does "i" stand for anyway?

rszarecki 12/4/2012 | 11:16:38 PM
re: Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup "i" is from "integrated".
The genesis is from M7i which intergrate GRE, IP-IP, FW/NAT, LAN interface in base system. (without needs of adding service PIC)

Because M10i use the same components (RE-400 and CFEB) thay also are "i". However M10i _not_ integrate GRE, IP-IP etc.
M10i is efectivlu redundant M10.
BTW M10i have RE-400 (400Mhz Intel processor, with 256/768 MBRAM). M10 have RE3/4 (600MHz/1.6GHz ntel processor, with 512/2000 MBRAM)

yanivbha 12/4/2012 | 11:16:19 PM
re: Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup What is the routing table sizes supported in this edge router?
absphinx 12/4/2012 | 11:10:54 PM
re: Juniper Touts New Edge Lineup 2m routes in main RT(inet.0), scaling numbers
10 routing-instances with 200k routes each....these are not confirmed by juniper but just my lab test here....
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