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Cisco and Juniper Roll New Networking Gear

Networking leaders Cisco and Juniper are both issuing new releases to their product portfolio this week that expand on the promise of speed and service convergence. Cisco is rolling out new mobile and carrier solutions while Juniper is ramping up a new dynamic services product line.

The new offerings come as the market for IP routers are rising at a rapid 40 percent growth rate in the second quarter of 2008 hitting $2.8 billion. Fuelling demand for the networking gear is an increasing amount of traffic that is only going to grow more over the next few years.

"We see a six fold increase between 2007 and 2012 in network traffic, by 2012 we see half a zettabyte crossing the global network" Mike Capuano, marketing director for Cisco's service provider routing and switching unit, told InternetNews.com. "Mobile data and video are growing rapidly while consumer video is a huge driver and we see that quadrupling by 2012. This is driving a need for consolidation through a single packet infrastructure that can handle IP efficiently."

Capuano's stats come from Cisco's own visual networking index which attempts to estimate the amount of IP traffic flowing through networks. By understanding the growth curve Cisco is also seeing where they need to roll out new products and what those offerings need to do.

One such new product from Cisco is the Fiber to the home ME 4500 Ethernet Services platform which is intended to provide more bandwidth for carrier end points. The ME 4500 provides 24 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, which is an increase over the 6 GB/s that previous generations from Cisco provided.

Cisco is also rolling out a new Fiber to building platform offering in the ME3400e -- which also gets a boost to 24 Gbps -- as well as new redundant power supplies to improve reliability. Capuano noted that Cisco was getting the speed improvement by way of new silicon that Cisco has developed to produce more efficient and powerful traffic capabilities.

Traffic is also increasing for mobile data users and as such Cisco has a new cellular site router solution called the MWR 2941-DC. The new cell site router is able to take current 2G and 4G traffic and then map it back onto the IP packet network.

Juniper looks to converge more services on a single platform

Cisco's competitor Juniper Networks is also seeing more traffic and it's now focusing on rolling out a new product line that can converge more services onto a single platform. The Dynamic Services Architecture approach in Juniper's new SRX dynamic services 5600 and 5800 gateways is intended to provide services such as firewall and intrusion detection alongside high end packet handling capabilities.

Juniper claims that the SRX 5800 dynamic services gateway can handle up to 350,000 connections per second and is capable of supporting 120 Gbps of firewall traffic.

"The ability to scale performance and deploy new service applications without new boxes is fundamental," Michael Frendo, senior vice president, High-End Security Systems, Juniper Networks told InternetNews.com.

Frendo argued that the new SRX product lineup doesn’t replace anything that Juniper currently offer but rather offers the opportunity to consolidate things that aren't consolidated today.

"If you have an environment where you've got a firewall and a router that are both the same size then there is a consolidation opportunity there," Frendo said.

That said, the SRX is not going to replace Juniper's high end T1600 or MX series routing gear that can scale to 1 Tbps or more of raw throughput.

The SRX from Juniper is a similar type of device as Cisco's ASR (Aggregation Services Router) released earlier this year after spending $250 million on development. However, Juniper argues that the SRX is more scalable that than ASR when running all services.

"A lot of the innovation in this box (SRX) is around that aspect, the ability to add processing power and have the box take care of distributing the load," Frendo said. "So yes it has some of the same ideas as the ASR, but not to the same extent as we are doing from the scalability perspective."