A Juniper universal chassis router announced today is designed to work at the network edge, in the network core or in a data center and to take on the functionality required for each application based on software. In addition, the new router supports what Juniper is calling “node slicing,” which aims to enable operators to run multiple services or instances on the same router, with each having a separate administrative domain.

The Juniper universal chassis router already has been deployed in some customer networks, on a limited basis at least, and will begin shipping tomorrow, said Donyel Jones-Williams, Juniper director of portfolio marketing, in an interview.  Slicing is already available on Juniper’s MX series routers, he said.

The Juniper technology advances announced today are aimed at making networks less costly to operate and more responsive, noted Jones-Williams.

Juniper Universal Chassis Router
“The universal chassis allows customers to start to have a common deployment across multiple parts of the network,” explained Jones-Williams.  He also noted, however, that the Juniper universal chassis router is designed to interoperate with traditional Juniper routers designed specifically for the edge or core or for data centers.

“We’re the only company that took all of its routing brands and put all those brands into a universal chassis,” Jones-Williams said.

Node Slicing
Network slicing is an important concept in software defined networking (SDN), which network operators are embracing globally. According to Jones-Williams, however, node slicing takes the SDN network slicing concept a step further.

Node slicing, a capability of Juniper’s Junos operating system, “allows the operating system to be virtualized and have a truly independent administrative space between different classes of operating systems,” he explained.

Putting it a different way, he said, “We are doing the same thing for routers that hypervisors did for servers.”

The Juniper universal chassis router news is the second major router announcement in just one week. Last week Nokia announced what it claims is the world’s largest router.

The Juniper universal chassis router supports higher capacity than previous Juniper offerings, Jones-Williams said. By using a 16-slot chassis, operators can get 48 Tbps of capacity in a single box, he explained.

Also today, Juniper announced two new professional services engagements. One of the offerings targets network operators that want to automate certain tasks currently performed manually by technicians. The other professional services offering aims to take that concept further and make automation more event-driven, Jones-Williams said.