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Juniper now makes a MX router that fits on a USB stick

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November 10, 2014

Juniper Networks said earlier today that the latest iteration of its MX router is a virtual device that functions as a router and it fits on a standard USB stick.

This isn't a SDN play, says Juniper. Shipping a full-featured MX router licensed in per-100 Mbps or per-Gbps performance slices offers a product that can be sold in much greater volume than an 80 Tbps router, all at a fraction of the cost.

Juniper's Steve Shaw says that internet service providers had asked for a product that was scaled down and was more cost-effective to give them more deployment options.

The new product is called the vMX 3D, which the company describes as a universal edge router.

“It has all the same capabilities-– you provision and manage the vMX through the same interfaces”, Shaw said. At the same time, it gets MX capabilities into places where it would be too costly to deploy traditional Juniper hardware.

User cases Shaw cited include branch offices that only need 100 to 200 Mbps, but even a large carrier might see the vMX as useful.

For example, if a customer is looking for a connection to an overseas location, we can spin this up as a virtual machine, have it up and running fast but still with the same features and capabilities as a full-blown router, Shaw added.

The virtualized router would also give larger customers a useful staging platform for new software-- “We release JunOS platform code two or three times a year,” he explained – but SPs are wary of taking their critical platforms offline for upgrades.

With vMX he said, “you could start a virtual machine for a specific customer to try out a new build, with minimal risk to the network.”

The finer details of the licensing model are still being worked out, Shaw said, because of the divide between carriers that want routing to appear as capex and those who want it as opex.

There will be two licensing models he told us, so that customers can choose between a perpetual license or one based purely on utilization.

The other two big announcements from Juniper are Contrail Cloud, and Juniper DevOps. Contrail Cloud is a straightforward bundling of its Contrail Networking (formerly the SDN controller) delivered as a turnkey environment to make it easier to deploy.

It's wrapped up with management and orchestration. It also includes the company's Firefly Perimeter virtual firewall with antispam, antivirus and IPS, Shaw added.

The idea is to let customers “create an NFV data centre from the install, with minimal configuration load”.

JunOS DevOps brings the company's network operating system into the scripted world of the data centre.

IT managers are using scripting tools like Puppet or Chef to spin up data centres, and the roadblock is configuring switches and routers to get things off the ground.

“They want service provisioning of the switches and routers through the same architecture,” he said, for things like assigning ports and subnets to individual routes, enabling basic firewall and security elements.

Source: Juniper Networks.

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