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Juniper looks to one-up Cisco again in core routing

Jim Duffy | Jan. 15, 2011
At 4Tbps per half rack, Juniper claims new T4000 is 2X Cisco's CRS-3

Driving the need for such capacity and performance, especially at 100G, is video. Two-thirds of consumer traffic on networks will soon include some form of video, Juniper says. Cisco says that 90% of Internet traffic will be video by 2014.

Using 100G, a 90-minute HDTV movie can be transmitted in one second, Juniper says. The technology also enables intelligent processing of video flows, fast channel change and retransmission to improve quality, the company says.
Internet2 is using 100G to accelerate the processing of terabytes of data for scientific research. In one such project, 100G will be used to transfer data between the twin telescopes of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii and the Chilean Andes, allowing astronomers in both hemispheres to share data simultaneously.

But Tom Nolle, president of consultancy CIMI Corp., believes the T4000 is better positioned for metropolitan network applications than core. He says the router's footprint, density, and power and cooling requirements are suited for intra-metro routing where traffic originates and terminates in the same metro.

"This is a strong product for mobile broadband," Nolle says, where it can route closer to the subscriber and reduce backhaul requirements. "But I don't think they really positioned this for the 'metro Internet.'"

Indeed, core seems to be the target for the T4000. In the future, Juniper says it will upgrade its TX Matrix Plus router interconnect to be able to cluster four T4000s into a 16Tbps system, and also to cluster a mix of T4000s with the current generation core T1600 routers. The T1600 and previous generation T640 routers can be upgraded to the T4000 without service interruption, Juniper says.

Juniper says it has more than 6,000 T series systems deployed including over 1,100 T1600s. Two hundred and seventy-five of them are in multichassis clusters, including 50 in a TX Matrix Plus and 225 linked through the previous generation TX Matrix interconnect.

Juniper will demonstrate the new system at this week's Supercomputing 2010 show. There, the company will demonstrate 100G Ethernet edge-to-core routing capabilities between the T4000 and the Juniper MX240 edge router. Ixia testers will pump Ethernet packets into both the T4000 and MX240 at 100G, while the T4000 and MX240 will swap packets back and forth over 10 aggregated 10G Ethernet links.

The aggregated 10G links are intended to show how service providers running 10G at the edge to the core can achieve 100G performance, Juniper officials said.

The T4000 will be available in the second half of 2011. Juniper did not disclose per port or system pricing.


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