Earlier this week we announced two significant changes to Juniper’s caching and content delivery products. First, we announced a new brand identity: the products are now named under the new and more descriptive Junos Content brand. I think this is a positive step for many reasons but won’t spend too much time on it here.
Instead, I’d like to focus on the second part of our announcement: the integration of Junos Content Encore into our MX Series via the Application Services Modular Line Card. My colleague Priya wrote a great blog about integrating functionality into the network as applications, rather than deploying standalone appliances. The integration of caching and content delivery functionality into the market-leading MX series is a great example of this, but in the case the benefits go even beyond the advantages of simplification and consolidation.
To explain, I'll use an analogy from the car world. For a long time, cars were relatively limited in terms of functionality beyond basic transportation. You had a stereo to listen to music, heat and (maybe) AC to keep you comfortable. In the past several years though, a number of consumer electronics came out that could improve your motoring experience. Early adopters initially bought these as additional accessories, but eventually they became integrated directly into the vehicle itself.
When GPSes first became popular, for example, most people I knew had a standalone system that required plugging into your cigarette lighter and sticking them on your windshield—not exactly operationally friendly. Today cars come from the factory with in-dash GPS systems and you see a lot fewer hanging from the windshield. Same functionality, but no cords or suction cups.
A similar thing for in-car entertainment. The first DVD player I bought for one of my cars strapped to the back of the seat and also had to be plugged into a cigarette lighter. Now the family vehicle has a system that came integrated from the factory and pops out of the ceiling.
With Junos Content Encore, we’re doing a similar thing: we are essentially providing a “from the factory” option for router-integrated caching and content delivery that does away with the cords. But aside from the operational benefits, Junos Content Encore when running on AS-MLC also delivers leading performance (up to 40Gbps of delivery capacity from a single card). It’s as if the TV that popsout of my car’s ceiling was a 72” LED HDTV with surround sound.
So if the router integrated option is operationally more simple, and better performing, does that mean the need for appliances such as our VXA Series is going away? Absolutely not. There are lots of customers out there who don’t need the level of performance delivered from a router integrated option. There are also times where a router slot may not be available in the location where caching is required. That’s we also provide Junos Content Encore as an appliance on our own VXA Series; and as software for deployment on generally available servers.
What this week’s announcement did is to round out the choices for our customers. Now you can deploy caching in the router, as a Juniper appliance or as software. A range of options to meet a range of price and performance targets.