Juniper networks’ M320 tackles the Multiservice Edge

Product of the month Telecommunications® 2004: Juniper networks’ M320 tackles the Multiservice Edge

Once effectively a collection of individual networks dedicated to specific services, e.g. frame relay and ATM, the service provider network edge is moving toward a common, multiservice intelligent network that can preserve existing profitable investments while providing a path to the next-gen IP/MPLS network future.

Well entrenched in the network core, Juniper is positioning to move on this edge migration with the introduction of its M320 Multiservice Edge platform. Supporting both existing and emerging Layer 2 and Layer 3 services, the M320 can transform multiple, disparate network elements into a single multiservice network.

By beefing up both its control and forwarding planes, Juniper has positioned the M320 as a 10-Gbps-capable edge platform that can meet the needs of the multiservice edge. Incorporating a new 1.6-GHz routing engine (RE 1600) with 2 Gigabytes of DRAM, the control plane can support thousands of VPNs and customer interfaces. Taking advantage of advanced programmable ASICs, the separate forwarding plane supports 385 million packets per second, 320 Gbps of throughput as well as 16 OC-192/STM-64 interfaces.

But this new offering won’t be defined by simply scale. For all the promise of the next-generation IP/MPLS network, ATM and frame relay still rule the game, so carriers will need a mechanism to bridge the divide between today’s cash cow services and tomorrow’s IP-based efficiency. M320 leverages Juniper’s J-FASE (Juniper Frame and ATM Service Emulation) toolkit, through which it can deliver ATM and frame relay over IP/MPLS networks with the same QoS carriers have come to know and love.

J-FASE is able to achieve this QoS by incorporating DiffServaware MPLS traffic engineering and connection admission control to ensure guaranteed bandwidth across IP/MPLS networks. Then, to ensure network reliability and SLAs are met, J-FASE incorporates new OAM (operations, administration and maintenance) tools such as bi-directional forwarding detection. In addition, the M320 will be a part of the previously announced joint Juniper/Lucent MPLS and IP VPN solution.

“With J-FASE, Juniper can emulate a Layer 2 service over an MPLS backbone,” said Mark Bieberich, senior analyst, communications network infrastructure, Yankee Group. “They have improved their capabilities in that area, because what their customers make money on today is frame relay and ATM service. To justify the positioning of the M320 in that network environment requires technical capabilities that they previously did not have. J-FASE expands their addressable market and improves their credibility in a certain class of services.”


Because the M320’s hardware elements utilize both the same JUNOS software and PICs (physical interface cards) that run on all of Juniper’s M- and T-Series platforms, carriers can protect existing investments. Better yet, the M320 ensures reliability with common, fully redundant hardware and hot swappable capabilities such as service software upgrades and hitless switchover. To ensure network security, the M320 hardware incorporates automated firewall filters for DOS prevention across all the various interfaces and the control plane to prevent, detect and terminate network attacks.

Ultimately, the end result for operators and customers is more services. In addition to supporting a wide suite of VPN services, including Layer 3 VPNs, six varieties of Layer 2 VPNs and VPLS (virtual private LAN service), the M320 provides Layer 2.5 Interworking VPNs to support a painless migration from either ATM or frame relay to Ethernet. These VPN capabilities can also provide multiple services within each VPN, including VPN-aware multicast, IPSec encryption, hardware-based IPv6, VPN-aware NAT/stateful firewall, and multiple QoS levels per VPN for tiered services.

Of course, a platform is nothing without a potential customer. Global Crossing is evaluating the M320 in its lab for future deployment.

“We use a lot of Juniper network gear facing the customer and were looking for a solution to use as our next-gen edge device that would provide the density to keep from having to uplift routers into a single location,” said Greg Wallace, Global Crossing’s vice president of global voice and data engineering. “The density of the M320 could maintain the same feature functionality that we offer to our customers today, and when I say the same, that’s very important in going to replace a router.”

COPYRIGHT 2004 Horizon House Publications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group