Juniper Networks Infuses 400GbE Across Its Portfolio

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Posted on: Aug 08, 2018

Juniper Networks hopes to be the first of the major telecom vendors to offer 400GbE within its routing and switching portfolio. The company today said it’s planning to infuse 400GbE innovations in its PTX IP transport series, QFX data center series, and MX — its WAN series. The company expects to start rolling out the updates in the second half of 2018 and into the first half of 2019.

Bikash Koley, CTO of Juniper Networks, said the demand for 400-gigabit Ethernet is being driven by a need for more cost-efficient packet transport to handle increasing bandwidth demands from video; to deal with the east-west traffic in data centers and inter-data center traffic; and to prepare for 5G.

“The best way of delivering better economics is migrating from 100 Gig to 400 Gig,” said Koley. “We see demand from hyperscalers and enterprises and from service provider customers, and for both the core and the edge of the network and within data centers. But the caveat is: it’s not just 400 Gig but also the demand for scale-out architecture. Scale-out at 400 Gig is what our customers are looking for.”

Juniper’s CEO Rami Rahim has been chanting the “scale-out architecture” mantra during the company’s last several earnings calls. He says Juniper’s revenues are taking a temporary hit as customers transition from scale-up to scale-out architectures.

Koley explained that with scale-up architectures, “You go and buy the next, bigger, badder chassis.” To add more capacity in scale-up architectures, customers need to add line cards or buy a bigger chassis. With scale-out architectures, customers deploy more routers. “Scale-out is more cost effective because you don’t have to buy the largest capacity on day one,” he said.

First to 400 Gig

In a recent earnings call with investors, Arista CEO Jayshree Ullal said, “400 Gig is going to be very important in certain use cases, and you can expect Arista is working very hard at it. The mainstream 400 Gig market is going to take multiple years. I believe initial trials will be in 2019. But the mainstream market will be even later.”

Koley said, “We believe we are the first to come to the market with 400 Gig.”

For all three product lines, Juniper is introducing new silicon: ExpressPlus silicon for its PTX line; Q5 silicon for its QFX line; and Penta silicon for its MX line, which the company recently announced.

“2018 marks the start of the commercial 400G market, with volumes ramping up in 2019 as 400G trials across WDM, service provider routing, and data center switching applications convert into production deployments,” said Matthias Machowinski, senior research director at IHS Markit, in a statement. “We expect $10 billion will be spent on 400G technologies over the next five years.”