Verizon-Juniper: It's All in the Timing

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was definitely looking for processing power and scalability when it chose Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR)'s PTX Series, but it turns out that timing was a big factor as well.

The MPLS platform will be part of the 100Gbit/s backbone network Verizon will use to converge the four different IP networks the company operates. Verizon and Juniper made the announcement Tuesday morning to coincide with Juniper's analyst day in Silicon Valley. (See Verizon Deploys First 8 TB MPLS Platform and Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX.) Faced with exploding volumes of IP traffic, Verizon would have had to upgrade some of those four networks separately, were an option not immediately available to begin the convergence onto a single IP/MPLS network, says Steve Misencik, director of global network planning for Verizon. (See Verizon CTO Shows Some Backbone.)

"Juniper was chosen based on their ability to meet our needs and deliver in a timely fashion," says Misencik. "Immediately it gives us a very scalable, efficient platform to allow us to converge multiple IP networks."

Verizon's experience with Juniper -- it uses Juniper routers in its core today -- factored in as well.

Just as crucially, Verizon will be reducing the cost per megabit with this convergence step, eliminating multiple racks of side-by-side equipment and the separate operations systems for its public IP network, private IP network, wireless data network and switched Ethernet network.

Verizon is conducting internal testing with the PTX and is already physically deploying some systems. Deployment is the last step in a process that included finalizing high-level and low-level architectures, conducting testing of the multiple (internal) client networks and having the operations systems in place to handle convergence.

"There is a lot of complexity involved in terms of testing the interconnection of the networks. We have to make sure we can execute this in a very safe environment," Misencik says.

Verizon will start with the largest of its networks -- the public IP network that evolved from its UUNet origins -- then move on to the private IP network, with convergence of wireless data taking place in 2013 and switched Ethernet after that.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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