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Juniper Routers Deliver 3X More Traffic

Juniper Networks claims its new line of universal access routers for use on service provider networks can deliver three times the throughput of competitive offerings. The routers are called "universal" because they provide network access for mobile devices, residential broadband and business networks. However, the initial rollout of the Juniper Networks ACX Series of Universal Access Routers is expected to be with mobile service providers building 4G, also known as LTE, networks.

Providing universal access for mobile, residential and business users provides capital and operational savings for buyers and provides better flexibility for traffic management, says Juniper. The access layer extends from the initial connection to a network from mobile phones and the nearest cell tower, from a subdivision of homes or from a business park, to the edge of a service provider's network, be it a mobile carrier, an ISP or a conventional phone company.

The ACX Series routers should be in demand with mobile service providers that are migrating to 4G/LTE networks, the company says. Providers are doing so because of the continued heavy usage of smartphones and tablets; applications such as video; high-bandwidth usage; and applications requiring high quality of service.

Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research, notes that Juniper's support for both Ethernet and Mulitprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), should interest a number of carriers that will want to evaluate the ACX. Wireless carriers, in particular, favor Ethernet and MPLS as primary cell site back haul connection protocols.

In September, Cisco expanded its service provider offerings, the ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers System portfolio, in response to the proliferation of mobile Internet services and devices such as tablets and smartphones that are fueling demand for bandwidth and quality experiences, as well as to the ongoing evolution to IPv6. The latest additions to the series, which has an installed base of more than 500 service providers, featured the company's nV (Network Virtualization) technology, which blends the network edge, aggregation and access layers into a single 96-Tbps system.

The ACX series also combines the benefits of traditional synchronous optical networking (SONET) technology and more contemporary packet network architecture, he continues. SONET architecture was exceptional at timing, meaning all the elements of a network signal arrived in the right order at the right time. This is why land-line phone calls sounded better than some cell calls, says Juniper. Packet network architecture offers the ability to deliver packets of data, regardless of type of content or structure, over a shared network, but timing is as optimal as on a SONET network.

Juniper has timing built into the ACX product that increases the quality of the experience for the users and also decreases the chances for service providers to have to incur SLA violations, the company says.

The new series delivers 10 Gbps throughput, versus most competitive routers in this space that typically deliver 1Gbps. It also adds a number of operational intelligence features to handle a variety of types of applications that have different quality-of-service requirements and that may require different service-level agreements (SLAs), says Juniper. The ACX line of routers is offered in five models, four of which are one-rack-unit configurations that are designed to be "passively cool" for energy efficiency and hardened to be unaffected by environmental conditions such as dust. The fifth model is a two-rack-unit model that has more capacity but lacks the hardened design of the others. However, all five products support Power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity.

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