Juniper Networks Unveils 5G Router Platform


By: Michael Vizard

As part of a strategic effort to get in front of demand for 5G and other advanced networking services, Juniper Networks (JNPR) this week unveiled a programmable MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platform based on a 16nm packet-forwarding engine.

The MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platform will also be the most advanced implementation of Control User-Plane Separation (CUPS) Hardware Acceleration using a standard set of Sx interfaces, claims Juniper. Juniper says the MX Series 5G platform is the first networking platform to support a standard-based 5G user plane that can be applied to both existing and future MX routers to converge wired and wireless networking on to the same core platform.

Focus on Power Efficiency

All told, this next-generation series of routers provides a 50 percent improvement in power efficiency that will translate into a 3X gain in network bandwidth over previous generations of Juniper routers, says Sally Bament, vice president of service provider marketing for Juniper Networks.

That capability will make it possible to distribute network services to the edge in a way that allows services provider to make good on the promise of 5G networking services, adds Bament.

In fact, to meet promised service levels the required transition at the network infrastructure level is already underway, says Bament.

“We expect carriers to begin pushing these platforms out to the edge of their network this year and into next,” says Bament.

Proprietary Silicon

At the core of the MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platform is Juniper Penta Silicon, which is a new chip set developed by Juniper Networks that also native supports both a MACsec and an IPsec crypto engine without compromising performance, says Bament.

Finally, Juniper today also announced that it is continuing its effort to standardize it chassis equipment. The MX10008 and MX10016 will make use of 18u and 21u chassis that Juniper has previously announced.

Juniper is also committing to making all the router included in the MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platform will be manageable by both Juniper and third-party management platforms via open interfaces.

While service providers gearing up to deliver 5G networking services are the primary customer for this latest generation of Juniper routers, Bament notes that it won’t be too long before cloud and managed service providers and enterprise IT organizations will follow suit. The goal is to fundamentally change the economics of delivering networking services at scale, says Bament.

Naturally, Juniper Networks is not the only provider of networking infrastructure with similar ambitions. But at the very least it’s now apparent that a new generation of networking infrastructure capable of converging a wide variety of 5G networking services may be starting to arrive in the nick of time.

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