The products are designed to help carriers create a secure, automated, and cloud-centric architecture for next-generation wireless. “Service providers are looking at how to simplify the designs of their infrastructure, be more efficient and agile than before and deliver on services,” explained Donyel Jones-Williams, director of product marketing at Juniper.
Two new routers were announced that expand Juniper’s Metro Fabric line with a 1 rack unit (RU) and a 3 RU ACX700. The larger router offers 2.4 terabytes of performance in a temperature-hardened cabinet.
A new edge MPC11E line card was also introduced in the MX2000 Series routing group, offering a three-fold increase in card and system capacity using Juniper’s Penta chip.
Perhaps most important of all, Juniper said its new Triton chip with 400 gigabit-Ethernet (GbE) native Media Access Control Security (MACsec) will be used in the PTX10008 and PTX100016 Universal Chassis. Triton represents a 70 percent boost in power efficiency over the existing Junos Express Plus silicon, pushing a 380-percent increase over prior line cards in both chassis.
Juniper CEO Rami Rahim referred to the new products indirectly last month in a fourth quarter 2018 earnings report. While Rahim said he had been “disappointed” by weak cloud and service provider sales in the last quarter, he specifically praised the 400-gig upgrade cycle, 5G deployments, and Juniper’s enterprise multi-cloud initiative, saying “each represents large opportunities” in coming years.
The Penta and Triton chips are set to ship in the second half of 2019, while the two ACX700 routers will ship in the first half of 2020. Pricing was not announced.
How Juniper positions itself with 5G-related products to carriers will be critical in the next year or two as the next-gen wireless technology takes hold globally.
Juniper has been a leader in routing and switching for years, competing with Cisco, Huawei, Extreme, Avaya, Nokia, and others. In December 2017, IHS Markit surveyed carriers and found Juniper outranked Cisco, Huawei, and Nokia in routing and switching technology innovation, product reliability, service, and support. Juniper finished second behind Huawei in price-to-performance in that report.
For all of 2017, Juniper finished second in revenues in North America for the service provider router and switch market, after Cisco, according to IHS analyst Heidi Adams. Globally, Juniper finished third after Cisco and Huawei that year. IHS Markit’s numbers for 2018 will be published in March.
Adams said Juniper’s new products and feature help position it to compete for 5G business. She noted that Juniper deepened a partnership last September with Ericsson for their edge, core, and security solutions. Doing so gives Juniper a broader sales channel for marketing 5G transport products, she added.
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst a ZK Research, said the Juniper-Ericsson partnership will tie Juniper’s IP transport to Ericsson’s radio access solution under a common platform. “Juniper has had some up and down quarters, but I expect them to be one of the winners in the 5G arms race,” he added. “They have good technology and the right partnerships in place and have always benefited from telco cycles.”
Adams added, “early adopters in the U.S. and in [Asia-Pacific] region are making moves now to prepare mobile transport for the introduction of 5G, with a focus on increasing capacity in backhaul networks. Equipment vendors need to have a well-articulated vision, products, and product roadmap for meeting the requirements of this market in order to participate in the discussions that will lead to new business as the 5G market ramps up.”