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Managing Editor

Juniper seeks edge router advantage over Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent

Oct 15, 20133 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworkingRouters

MX routers designed to scale up to 2Tbps per slot with system capacity up to 80Tbps

Juniper Networks this week upgraded its MX service provider edge routers with expanded system capacity to enhance subscriber bandwidth and service performance.

Juniper MX

The upgrades include new line cards across the entire 10-router MX line, and switch fabric modules for the MX 240, MX 480 and MX 960 models. Juniper says the enhancements will help service providers protect their MX investments by using the same chassis to keep pace with subscriber and traffic growth.

Across the entire line, Juniper rolled out services-oriented Multiservice Modular Interface Card (MS-MIC) modules. The MS-MIC Service Card supports 9Gbps of capacity for services such as Junos Address Aware, an addressing and tunneling software package that helps network operators conserve and extend their IPv4 address pool; Junos Network Secure, which delivers stateful firewall services; Junos Traffic Vision, for flow monitoring; and Junos VPN Site Secure, for Layer 3 VPN encryption.  

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For modular MX platforms – the MX 240 up to and including the MX 2020 – Juniper unveiled the Multiservice Modular Port Concentrator (MS-MPC). The MS-MPC supports 60Gbps of services capacity, Juniper says.

Those modular platforms also get a new MPC called the MPC5e. The MPC5e supports 260Gbps of bandwidth and two interface options: 32x10G Ethernet and 2x100G Ethernet, plus 8x10G. The MPC5e also supports up to 128,000 sessions – 64,000 at first customer ship – and 1 million queues for hierarchical QoS, Juniper says.

A new MPC6 for the MX2010 and 2020 offers up to 520G of full duplex capacity per slot, and two new MICs: a 24x10G Ethernet, for densities up to 960 ports per rack on the MX2020; and a 4x100G, for up to 80 ports per MX2020 rack. Initially, the MX2020 supported 640 10G and 40 100G.

The routers are designed to scale up to 860G per slot, and then to 2Tbps per slot with system capacities of 40T to 80Tbps, Juniper has said. Cisco also appears to have 2Tbps per slot plans for its core and edge routers.

Juniper this week announced that XO Communications is using the MX2020 and its PTX5000 packet transport core router.

Lastly, Juniper’s new SCBE2 switch fabric module for the MX240, 480 and 960 platforms almost doubles the capacity for two of the routers, and more than doubles it for the MX960. The M240 now scales to from 960Gbps to 1.6Tbps; the MX480 from 2.88Tbps to 4.88Tbps; and the MC960 from 2.3Tbps to 5.3Tbps, with a future target of 8.8Tbps.

Juniper’s MX edge routers go up against Cisco’s ASR 9000 line, which is said by the company to scale from 120G for the ASR 9001 to up to 96Tbps with the ASR 9922. The MX also competes with Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 Service Router and 7705 Service Aggregation Router, and the 7950 XRS, which Alcatel-Lucent positions as a core router at 160 100G ports and 6.4Tbps and 32Tbps of system capacity.

Separately, Juniper says it expanded its partnership with Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) to jointly develop products for LTE mobile backhaul, LTE and 2G/3G radio access encryption, mobile infrastructure upgrades and IPv4-to-IPv6 migration.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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