400GbE party. Loud knock at the door. Music stops. In jumps Juniper

And it's clutching a roadmap that charts first shipments before end of 2018

The next round of bonkers-fast upgrades to data center networks is going to be 400Gbps Ethernet – and Juniper Networks has joined the party with a suitable roadmap.

This year has been something of a Year Of 400 Gbps Announcements, with Arista saying in February it expects trial deployments of its 400Gbps kit to start next year, and both Mellanox and Marvell Semiconductor are pushing ahead on silicon.

That doesn't make Juniper a laggard, though: there's plenty of time to win customers ahead of general 400Gbps adoption, and there's an industry consensus that 100Gbps will have a long tail overlapping with 400Gbps.

Juniper's roadmap covers IP transport routing, data center switches, and WAN services routers.

The engine behind its 400Gbps plans is silicon announced in June 2018 called Penta: a 16nm packet forwarding engine which, at 0.5W per gigabit per second, is 50 per cent more efficient than its predecessor, the Junos Trio chipset. Penta embeds MACsec and IPsec encryption, and supports the Optical Network Forum's FlexE protocol, which provides link bonding and channelization.

In Tuesday's announcement, Juniper said it will also craft new generations of its ExpressPlus and Q5 silicon for the 400Gbps transition.

All that baked sand will be seen first in three products:

  • A three rack unit router, the PTX10003 Packet Transport Router, touting 160 MACsec interfaces at 100Gbps, FlexE support for 32 interfaces at 400Gbps, and universal multi-rate QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor – Double Density) modules. The PTX10003 is slated to ship in the second half of this year.
  • Its QFX data center features will get 400Gbps support starting in the second half of the year, and rolling into the first half of 2019. There's a 32 x 400Gbps 3RU switch based on new Q5 silicon, the QFX10003, with capacity for up to 160 x 100Gbps interfaces; and the single rack unit QFX5220 switches with 32 x 400Gbps interfaces and support for 50 and 100Gbps connections.
  • Finally, the MX Series routing platform the biz announced in June will get Penta-powered line cards to run 400Gbps Ethernet on its MX960, MX480, and MX240 variants.

Executive veep and chief product officer Manoj Leelanivas explained in this blog post that the 100Gbps tail will meet rising 400Gbps port counts by the end of 2021, at which point, he expects 40Gbps to have dwindled.

The 400Gbps kit, Leelanivas said, will cut the price of today's typical server connectivity of 2 x 50Gbps, and already migrating to 2 x 100Gbps, by “more than the 11 per cent year-on-year experienced over the last decade.” ®


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