Juniper Takes Over the Network
In a barrage of announcements this morning, Juniper claims to redefine the IP network and the roles of routers and services in it. And yes, the company's prized Junos software takes center stage in the grand new era.
The announcements, and Juniper's ringing of the NYSE bell this morning, are part of a grand publicity sweep timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first connection on ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet.
The new look includes a revamp of Junos, the operating system that runs the company's routers and Ethernet switches; the promise of new routers powered by a new chip called Trio; and a cloud-computing initiative. (See Juniper Declares 'New' Network, Juniper Launches New Routers, and Juniper Gets Cloud-Happy.)
It's even got a new logo, as earlier reported. (See Juniper's Wireless Worry.)
The new plan marks the second major change to Juniper's image since CEO Kevin Johnson took the helm last year. The first was to ditch the cartoons, of course. (See Kriens Steps Aside as Juniper CEO and Juniper Kills the Cartoons!)
The announcements are a bit of a mess, considering how wide-ranging they are, but together they spell out a familiar theme. Juniper executives have previously spun ambitious dreams about making the network operate as a single entity, with enterprise, edge, and core equipment all working in harmony. That was the basis of the company's Infranet concept, which turned into the IPsphere. (See Juniper Does Vision Thing, Juniper's Infranet Takes Baby Steps, and Infranet Becomes IPsphere.)
One lingering question will be whether this kind of plan is what Juniper really needs. In recent months, some analysts have been more concerned about possible holes in the company's portfolio. Juniper's packet-optical plans seem to hinge on the optical gear of Nokia Networks , and the company hasn't yet produced a wireless strategy. (See Is Juniper Junior-Grade? and Juniper's Wireless Worry.)
So, what's inside Juniper's new network?
Junos rules this land
Juniper began opening Junos in 2007 with the Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP), which let select partners use the source code for writing their own Junos applications. (See Juniper Opens Up to Apps Developers and Juniper Routers Gain Video Powers.) Today's announcements take that openness a step further.
In fact, for the first time, Juniper is licensing all of Junos out to someone else -- Blade Network Technologies Inc. , a company that Juniper's invested in. (See Blade Secures Series B.) Blade will be building Junos-based blade switches.
Two new Junos-related platforms are being announced. Junos Space seems to be an extension of the PSDP, letting any Juniper customer write applications onto Junos. Juniper describes this as a way to let customers "directly program multiple layers" of the network.
Junos Space -- which, at $15,000, doesn't come free with Junos -- includes three pre-loaded applications: a tool to provision Ethernet services, an MPLS route analyzer, and an OnStar-like application that automatically forwards troubleshooting details to Juniper.
Then there's Junos Pulse, network client software that combines multiple products related to user access. It combines secure access with location-aware and identity-driven features.
Junos Space is available now; Junos Pulse is slated for the first half of 2010. Router revolution
Juniper is promising a new fleet of routers and line cards, collectively called MX 3D, powered by a new chip called Trio.
All this gear will be part of what Juniper is calling a universal edge, a network that will serve business, residential, and mobile needs.
Juniper claims that cards using Trio consume half the power of its competition, at 37 W for every 10 Gbit/s worth of Ethernet being moved. The competition is already screaming about that, since the figure was leaked earlier this week. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) tells Light Reading that its 100-Gbit/s interfaces will consume 40 W per 10 Gbit/s. And EZchip Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH) says line cards using its chips can consume just 40 W per 10 Gbit/s.
The MX 3D line will start with a 120 Gbit/s line card, apparently comprising 12 lanes of 10 Gbit/s Ethernet, to be released in December. More gear, including a 100-Gbit/s Ethernet card and small routers called the MX80 Series 3D, will come in 2010.
Finally, Juniper is launching the Cloud-Ready Data Center initiative, which is like a guide toward building a data center that's decked out for new cloud services.
The plan involves the MX 3D routers, Junos Space, and Junos Pulse (see above). But the real star is Juniper's SRX platform, which combined routing with the NetScreen security products and features heavily in this data-center vision. (See Juniper Strikes at Security's Core.)
The SRX 5800 is getting some improvements as well, including doubled density of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet connections and the ability to support 10 million concurrent sessions, up from 4 million last year.
All of this cloud talk will tie in with the Stratus Project, Juniper promises. Stratus is the data-center fabric that Juniper is working on with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and while Juniper still isn't saying what it is, today's releases note that Stratus will make a big data center behave like a single logical switch on the network. (See Juniper Strikes at the Data Center.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading