Juniper rolls out edge enhancements

Juniper Networks Inc. this week rolled out hardware and software enhancements to its edge router line, including a new platform and some high-availability routing features.

The enhancements include:

-- A four-port multichannel DS-3 Physical Interface Card and a channelized E-1 PIC.

-- JUNOS software additions to enable Layer 2 VPNs.

--- A hardware encryption PIC to construct secure VPN tunnels.

-- JUNOS software extensions to maintain data forwarding as routing protocols reboot.

-- And a new router, the M40e, with density improvements and hot-swappable PICs.

The enhancements are intended to enable service providers to rapidly provision and scale IP services, thereby increasing revenue and saving on operational cost. PICs and software features can be shared among all routers in Juniper's M series, the company claims.

The rollout mirrors a similar announcement from Cisco Systems Inc. last fall that sought to scale core IP services and features down to the edge.

The multichannel DS-3 and channelized E-1 PICs are intended to enable service providers to offer enterprises incrementally faster access links that fill the bandwidth gap between T-1/E-1 and T-3/E-3. The multichannel DS-3 PIC features four physical ports with 128 channels per port, twice the density of Juniper's current two-port multichannel DS-3 PIC.

"Multichannel" refers to the ability to bond T-1s from different physical ports together to form an NxT-1 link.

Layer 2 VPN support in JUNOS enables service providers to consolidate Ethernet, ATM and frame relay edge services onto an IP/MPLS backbone, Juniper says. The JUNOS supports both the Kompella and Martini Layer 2 VPN Internet drafts. The support enables Layer 2 encapsulation via Martini with the ability to mesh VPN label switched paths via BGP in Kompella.

The hardware encryption PIC - called the ES PIC - supports 1,000 concurrent Triple-DES tunnels with 800M bit/sec of throughput. The new half-rack M40e router delivers 40G-bit/sec throughput and accommodates up to 32 PICs, including hot-swappable PICs.

The existing M40 does not support hot-swappable PICs, Juniper says.

For high availability, JUNOS software now supports a feature called routing protocol graceful restart. It enables the company's M-series routers to maintain uninterrupted packet forwarding when network stress forces a routing protocol restart.

Pricing for the new products was not disclosed.

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