Sunday, February 24, 2008

Juniper Debuts Control Plane Scaling Platform

Juniper Networks unveiled its JCS 1200 high-performance Control Plane Scaling Platform aimed at solving a fundamental problem of scaling core networks.

As service providers seek to deliver multiple services concurrently across a converged IP infrastructure, each service must contend for a fixed amount of control plane capacity in the underlying routing infrastructure. The Juniper Networks JCS 1200 addresses this challenge by providing a standalone, dedicated platform for control plane resources (hosting multiple Routing Engines). This introduces a new paradigm--the ability to scale the control plane independently in a separate, interconnected platform.

Juniper pioneered the separation of control and forwarding planes in 1998 with the introduction of the M40 core router, which distributed the control and forwarding functions to different processors within the physical router chassis without the intervention of software. Juniper said that since then, the forwarding and control planes of routers have each scaled dramatically to keep pace with network traffic growth and service provider demand; however, individual routers are designed with a fixed amount of control plane resources, leaving providers with few options when faced with adding control plane capacity without sacrificing forwarding capacity.

The JCS 1200 is a 12 rack unit (RU) chassis that provides 12 Routing Engine slots and connects to Juniper Networks T-series routers via redundant Ethernet connections. It leverages JUNOS software and works with deployed T-series routers, enabling service providers to achieve this separation through service-specific virtualization --- the secure, flexible allocation of a single physical routing platform to multiple virtual routing instances.

Juniper lists several advantages for the JCS 1200

  • Maximum Scale: The dedicated RE chassis eliminates the need to compromise expensive, revenue-generating router slots for control plane scaling--all 40G and 100G slots on the routers are preserved for forwarding. When used in conjunction with a T1600 router, JCS 1200 can create hardware-virtualized routers while delivering as much as three times the forwarding capacity of competitive systems--while using 25 percent less rack space.

  • Increased Efficiency and Investment Protection: JCS 1200 integrates seamlessly with existing T-series router deployments, helping to protect customers' capital investment. By enabling service-specific virtualization, the JCS 1200 can improve network efficiency by consolidating equipment--studies have shown that using virtualization to maximize resource utilization can deliver substantial efficiency gains.

  • Greater Control for Rapid Service Roll Out: New services can be planned, tested, and deployed quickly, with far fewer resources and with a greatly accelerated time to market. By simplifying and shortening the pre-deployment testing process, the JCS can allow service providers to reduce time-to-market by several weeks or months, resulting in enhanced potential for accelerated revenue and customer growth.

The JCS 1200 Control Plane Scaling Platform is expected to be generally available for deployment in Q2 2008.

"Enabling the control plane to scale independently of the forwarding plane is the next logical evolution of routing technologies, and we believe it will help providers accelerate the monetization of their networks by delivering innovative, quality, scalable services which set them apart from the crowd," said Kim Perdikou, executive vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Products Group, Juniper Networks. "Juniper is once again advancing the economics of networking by delivering the industry's first control plane scaling platform, which delivers significantly enhanced capacity, efficiency and control, while reducing the costs and complexities associated with managing today's converged IP infrastructures."