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Optical/IP

Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) appears to be working on a new core router to challenge the market-share gains of the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) CRS-1, according to an analyst report today.

"We think Juniper is developing a new single chassis core router that will make it a greater competitive threat," writes analyst Simon Leopold of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. in a note issued this morning.

The product's release isn't imminent, and might not even happen this year, Leopold tells Light Reading. He doesn't think the router has been put in any customer labs yet.

Juniper's biggest product today, the TX Matrix, strings together multiple T640 boxes to create one big router. While the CRS-1 can do the same multichassis trick, it comes in a bulk package. One CRS-1 chassis can support 16 40-Gbit/s connections, twice the volume of one T640.

The TX Matrix has won the hearts of carriers like China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) subsidiary Guangdong Telecom. But others apparently don't like the multichassis idea. "Some people thought customers were unhappy with Juniper's multibox solution," Leopold says.

Keep in mind, the TX Matrix was announced five years ago and got its formal launch in 2004. (See Juniper Unveils the TX.) It's possible that carriers' tastes have changed since then, particularly as they grapple with issues of power consumption and space shortages.

A new core router might give Juniper a needed boost. Cisco says the CRS-1 racked up $250 million in orders during the quarter ending in April, compared with $150 million the previous quarter. Juniper, meanwhile, scored about $187 million in core-router revenues for the quarter ending in March, by Leopold's estimate.

All told, Cisco appears to be pulling away with the lead. Leopold's report quotes Ovum RHK Inc. numbers that say Cisco owns 61 percent of the core market versus Juniper's 35 percent.

Juniper appears to be the only company poised to challenge Cisco's core-router share at all. While companies like Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) are targeting the core-router market, they don't have Juniper's base of carrier deployments. As for startups... fuhgeddaboutit. (See The Core Was Rotten for Startups.)

Juniper, which never comments on this sort of thing, declined to comment.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:08:57 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core Speaking of 'rethinking' things ... "Rethinks the Core" might have been too strict a headline here. My first guess would be that Juniper is just packing a more dense T640, nothing too radical.

Would that kind of upgrade really help against Cisco, though? Or are other factors pushing Cisco's core market share?
numinary 12/5/2012 | 3:08:56 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core I believe that before any core router company can begin to think about a next gen product offering they need to figure out how 100GbE interfaces will be transported. It's not clear at this time that carriers and service providers will be able to deploy 100Gbit/s wavelengths over LH & regional networks. So it will be important for the core router of the future to map the 100GbE interfaces into the right format to be transported across the network in some mix of 10G/40G lambdas.

As the IEEE has very little interest in transport, the mapping problem will fall into the hands of the ITU. Given the schedules of standards the method probably won't be at the proposal phase for >6-9 months.

To some extent the core router can hope to let the WDM transport equipment sort out the problem, but my opinion is that the carriers will demand a solution in the core router.
rodolg 12/5/2012 | 3:08:56 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core
What about Alcatel and Huawei in the core?

Huawei has a core router called NE5000E which has a forwarding capacity of 1600 Mpps and i heard it can be cascaded to scale to even more capacity... huawei has been gaining some contracts of IP Core outside of china in regions like Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa..(of course not in North America) and is growing fast .. maybe is not a great threat today, but eventually it could , i remember i saw an article in this website saying that Huawei was number 3 in CESR (Carrier Ethernet Switch Router) Market..although is not the core, is IP technology also

for alcatel they have the 7750 which is not a very high capacity router compared to CRS-1, TX or NE5000E but as we know Alcatel has been growing very fast in the IP market specially in Metro Ethernet and Edge Routers , and maybe they have some strategy for the IP Core...Alcatel appeared like number 2 in the CESR Market, being Cisco number 1

The interesting thing of companies like Alcatel and Huawei is that they have a very large product portafolio covering different fields like optical transmission, mobile networks, IMS, broadband access networks , NGN Networks, iptv etc..., they do not focus only in IP, while Cisco and Juniper core business is IP...

I think companies like Alcatel and Huawei can survive in the ip core market and gain more share..
backstabber 12/5/2012 | 3:08:55 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core There is no doubt Juniper is working on a next generation replacement for the TX given the many complains about the vulnerability of the whole system tied to a central point of failure.

Based on the company's past track records and timelines, there is probably too much credit given to Juniper's ability to come up with workable replacement anytime soon. At this stage, a new generation of ASIC with higher bandwidth is probably in development and a next generation of JUNOS will probably follow. For such a high capacity system, the current JUNOS is just not modular enough. Even IOX can claim to be more modular than the current JUNOS.

There are some very smart core router architects at Juniper, but the playing field has evened out since the company first came out with the M40. At best, if Juniper were to come out with a true deployment-quality core router (not an alpha/beta product like the MX when it was pre-announced), it will likely be closer to mid-2008.
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:08:55 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core So it will be important for the core router of the future to map the 100GbE interfaces into the right format to be transported across the network in some mix of 10G/40G lambdas.

Wow, reverse muxing. Back to the future.
Sisyphus 12/5/2012 | 3:08:52 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core
While that's correct, it seems one of the trends is for next gen routers to integrate WDM interfaces, and thus implement that functionality directly. This does not eliminate the problem, of course, but it reduces the number of transport elements that need to be 100G capable. Eventually. This one will still take a while, the 100G standard probably will not be finished for another 2 years or so, right?
rodolg 12/5/2012 | 3:08:51 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core Yes it seems the trend is that the optical layer will interact with the IP layer, then we will see GMPLS in action, not only switching Labels as we know in routers but also lambdas, but i dont think this will be a reallity so quickly, ??


Before 100Gbps get into commercial applications , i guess there will be a lot of 40Gbps. Currently the transmission equipments can provide STM256 (40Gbps) technology, so the core router must support 40Gbps interfaces first , and it should be scalable enough to support 100Gbps in the near future.

CRS-1 Supports STM256 interfaces , does juniper provide this interfaces? surely they will support them in their next core router product...






chook0 12/5/2012 | 3:08:49 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core ----------
CRS-1 Supports STM256 interfaces , does juniper provide this interfaces? surely they will support them in their next core router product...
----------

Juniper has been shipping STM256/OC768 interfaces on T640 for well over a year now, perhaps 18 months.....

--chook
tsat 12/5/2012 | 3:08:47 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core
I beleive everything I read on light reading message boards.

-tsat

----
Yeah, Juniper's been shipping a STM256 / OC768 interface on the T640 that can schedule only 28 Gbps instead of 40 Gbps. Guess filling the pipe with 12 Gbps of hot air makes it an OC768 interface ;-)
goundan 12/5/2012 | 3:08:47 PM
re: Report: Juniper Rethinks the Core Yeah, Juniper's been shipping a STM256 / OC768 interface on the T640 that can schedule only 28 Gbps instead of 40 Gbps. Guess filling the pipe with 12 Gbps of hot air makes it an OC768 interface ;-)

----------
rodolg wrote: CRS-1 Supports STM256 interfaces , does juniper provide this interfaces? surely they will support them in their next core router product...
----------

chook wrote: Juniper has been shipping STM256/OC768 interfaces on T640 for well over a year now, perhaps 18 months.....
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