Juniper Networks took the cover off two new products that aim to address challenges facing service providers as they converge their networks: the PTX3000 Packet Transport Router and an integrated packet-transport physical interface card (PIC).

Juniper is calling the PTX3000 the industry's first Converged Supercore. According to the company, what distinguishes the PTX3000 from other core routers is its size and capabilities. Some core routers are so large that they often require building retrofits and redesigns. Juniper said its new router is only 10.6 inches in depth and can be installed even in the face of space and energy constraints.

"To effectively deliver advanced services and remain competitive, service providers need a core network solution that will help streamline their business Relevant Products/Services and reduce operational costs," said Rami Rahim, executive vice president of the Platform Systems Division at Juniper Networks. Rahim is convinced the Converged Supercore fits the bill. Some customers and industry analysts are also bullish on the new solutions.

New Packaging Density

The PTX3000 router's capacity is designed to rapidly scale over time up to 24 terabits per second (Tbps). That makes it possible for the PTX3000 to simultaneously stream high-definition video to as many as 3 million households.

What's more, Juniper's new PIC has two-ports of line rate 100 Gigabit forwarding for the entire PTX family. The new PIC allows service providers to interconnect sites more than 1,243 miles apart, the equivalent distance between San Francisco and Denver.

"Traffic patterns in metro networks are rising at such a high rate that requirements in the IP metro core are similar to those of previous IP backbone core networks," said Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.

"The PTX3000 Packet Transport Router has clearly achieved a new packaging density for core routers, with capacity to scale up to 24 Tbps in an energy-efficient, half-rack, 300mm ETSI form factor. We expect that these characteristics will draw the consideration of service providers as they redesign their metro networks for the future."

Built for the Cloud

The PTX3000 follows Juniper's 2011 introduction of its first Converged Supercore, a new architecture to bring together the packet and transport worlds, that works to address the scale and flexibility challenges that today's service providers face. With the PTX3000, Juniper said it has redefined the upgrade so that one technician can manually hand-carry and install a PTX3000 within a matter of minutes versus hours.

"Our business continuously evolves at the escalating pace of mobility and emerging cloud-based applications," said Randy Nicklas, chief technology officer at XO Communications. "Our enterprise Relevant Products/Services customers need communications services that will scale on-demand and remain highly reliable, which means our network core must have a simple architecture, be automated, and function with minimal changes.

"Juniper's PTX Series routers enable us to meet our vision to rapidly deliver advanced communications services to customers. Our Juniper Supercore will improve our customers' experience and offers the flexibility to deliver more competitive solutions in the future."