Bloody hell – Juniper are on fire at the moment. First we get the new QFX switches supporting more 10G and FCoE in a single rack U than you can shake a stick at, and now we get the ‘converged supercore’, in the form of the PTX5000 and PTX9000.
Jesus, these things are big…
What is it? Well the PTX5000 weighs just over five times my body-mass at 1000lbs. The PTX9000 (which appears to be further off launch) comes in at 2000bs. So, for a start you’re going to have to reinforce your comms-room floor. For that matter you’ll have to reinforce the floor all the way from the loading bay to the final installation. God knows, you’ll probably have to underpin your building and use sky-hooks to get one of these beasts in. After that you’ll need to find 480 amps of DC power to get the lights to come on, and some ear-defenders.
In summary, this box is a convergence of the MPLS packet-switched world, and the optical DWDM world. These days, vendors like Adva Optical use GMPLS to signal for wavelengths (sometimes referred to as lambdas) through the optical layer since GMPLS is a standardized protocol.
Juniper have supported GMPLS for years it seems – at least since Junos 7.something.
I did some Juniper/Adva interop testing with GMPLS recently and showed the results to some of our customers. It was quite cool – you could get a Juniper T-series router to signal a connection through an Adva FSP3000 network of ROADMs quite reliably. You could even look in the traffic-engineering database and see the number of available lambdas on each leg of the Adva network. What we couldn’t quite get working was a backup path between the same two routers – we think because one or other vendor wasn’t quite at the same stage in their software development cycle.
Nevertheless, it is clear that Juniper are working closely with Adva on some of this stuff. In fact, the PTX is going to include an Adva FSP3000 to provide the optical functions – something that has been a closely guarded secret until more recently. The whole system will be driven from Junos, although I believe that Juniper will be re-skinning the Adva graphical management system too.
The PTX5000 is an 8-slot chassis, with 480Gbps per slot. You can put 32 x 100Gig interfaces in it.
I won’t be getting one for home.
Have a look at the PTX here.
It is quite interesting that Juniper have chosen to go this route. As you’d expect, this is a faster box than its predecessors, but it also breaks the mould of what a core router should do by merging in the optical capabilities. Cisco on the other hand, have just gone with making the CRS3 three times faster than the CRS1.
I think Juniper are probably on the right track. Merging the layers together, and ultimately managing them over a unified control plane and management system is key to reducing operational expenditure for service providers in the coming years.