Juniper adds smarts to the edge

Juniper Networks this week unveiled hardware and software enhancements for its service provider edge routers that add intelligence and support for more applications and services.

The expansions involve the company’s MX-Series of Ethernet routers and M-Series edge routers. They are designed to further converge various services onto platforms initially designed or optimized for a select set of applications.

The enhancements also tightly integrate the features and functions of products from companies Juniper has acquired over the years into its JUNOS operating system. Specifically, technologies from NetScreen, Unisphere and Kagoor have now been woven into JUNOS.

They include:

* Subscriber management from Juniper’s E-series broadband services routers, obtained through the acquisition of Unisphere.

* Dynamic application awareness from deep packet inspection technology in NetScreen’s VPN and firewall systems. This has been wedded to JUNOS security and policy management capabilities to provide stateful, subscriber-aware application monitoring for application-specific service levels and QoS treatments.

* Intrusion prevention, also from NetScreen.

* Session border control functionality from Kagoor, to manage VoIP and multimedia sessions to ensure quality of service and security.

Juniper says the integrated features will simplify the network edge for service providers by reducing the number of network elements and operating systems within the network. It will also create an environment where services can be implemented more rapidly since integration among network devices and with back office systems is minimized, the company asserts.

Additionally, by decreasing the need for service-specific appliances, the integrated edge environment can reduce power, space and cooling requirements, Juniper says.

The hardware extensions are intended to help deliver these new services. They include the MultiServices DPC, a processing engine for the MX-Series routers dedicated to running the new JUNOS services without impacting the routers’ forwarding performance.

The MultiServices DPC can also host applications developed by customers and partners through Juniper’s Open IP Solution Development Program (OSDP). One such application includes a new video monitoring program under development by OSDP partner Triveni Digital.

Juniper also introduced a new Flexible PIC Concentrator for the MX-series that provides packet over SONET capabilities, using the same OC-48 and OC-192 Physical Interface Cards (PIC) used for the company’s M- and T-series platforms. This will enable providers to use the MX-series to connect to traditional, non-Ethernet-based networks -- like SONET -- for the first time, while reducing sparing costs by using M- and T-series PICs, Juniper says.

For the M-series, Juniper added new Ethernet PICs -- called IQ2-E -- to the M120 and M320 multiservice edge routers, increasing the Ethernet density, scale and service support for those systems. New packet processing hardware for the M7i and M10i routers, called E-CFEB, is housed on a new forwarding engine board for those systems. It will deliver up to 68% more capacity while using 57% less power per Gigabit than competitive systems, Juniper says.

JUNOS with session border controller and subscriber management is available now. Dynamic Application Awareness will be available in the first quarter of 2009.

The MS-DPC will be available in the fourth quarter. The MX-FPC, IQ2-E and CFEB-E hardware will be available in the first half of 2009.

Other edge features will be announced and added throughout 2009, the company says.

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