Juniper recently released a new product aimed at providing “carrier-class” ethernet – basically a highly port-dense box that runs JunOS, providing business ethernet and residential triple-play services.
At its core, it maintains the usual separation of control plane and forwarding plane that has long been established in Juniper M- and T-series routers and runs the same JunOS image that they do. Physical parts are not common, however. Routing engines are inserted in middle two slots at the front, rather than at the rear as in the M and T-series. The chassis can take a total of 48 10Gig ports or 480 1Gig ports and has a 960Gbps routing/switching capacity.
Juniper are keen to stress that this isn’t an ethernet switch in any shape or form, but it will perform some ethernet control plane functions, such as spanning-tree etc.
Fine-grained control over shaping, policing, multicast and so on is achieved by Juniper’s i-Chip in the forwarding plane of the box. It is also going to support graceful restart of routing protocols and non-stop routing for IGPs, BGP and MPLS VPNs/signalling.
Alongside all this, JunOS’s upcoming support for MPLS and Ethernet OAM, plus their enhancements to multicasting over MPLS is going to go a long way to building truly scalable multi-service networks.
Here’s the product page, complete with 3D virtual tour of the box.