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Industry Solutions and Trends
Juniper's 400GbE Engineering Prowess on Display at Verizon
Jan 25, 2018

The Engineering Challenge

"The testament of a great engineering company is to never back down from the world’s hardest problems." —Juniper Networks founder Pradeep Sindhu 


Juniper CEO Rami Rahim shared this quote at a recent meeting, reflecting upon a speech Pradeep made to a group of fledgling engineers just embarking on their Juniper careers in the late 1990s. 


These words—which convey Juniper’s commitment to engineering—ring just as true today, particularly in light of Verizon's recent announcement of a 400GbE technology proof-of-concept deployment across their Dallas backbone built with Ciena and Juniper Networks products. 


When Verizon invited Juniper to participate in this project, the Juniper engineering team couldn't wait to pack their bags and book their flights.  This was their time to shine.  They didn't see the project as just another opportunity to showcase the PTX5000, an engineering marvel offering 24 Tbps of non-blocking, full-featured IP/MPLS performance powered by the 1 Tbps ExpressPlus silicon.  No, they saw it as a challenge—and a way to demonstrate their engineering prowess. 


That’s because, unbeknownst to the world, Juniper engineers had the foresight to imbue the PTX5000 with the ability to seamlessly upgrade from 100GbE to 400GbE by simply swapping a PIC on the current 3 Tbps generation line cards.  The Verizon proof of concept offered the Juniper engineers a platform for demonstrating their prescience and their ability to solve hard, complex problems before anyone else knew they even existed.


Engineering for Longevity.

Juniper’s accomplishment with the PTX5000 is a feat that is often overlooked:  engineering for longevity.  Many of the world's greatest engineering marvels languish in obscurity—for instance, the "oldest bridge" in Rome.  While the Pantheon, erected in 125 AD, and the Colosseum, dating back to 80 AD, are far more famous and attract many more visitors, neither of these landmarks are as old as the Pons Fabricius.  Built in 62 BC, the Pons Fabricius is an incredible example of Roman arch bridge engineering, enduring for more than two millennia. 


Likewise, Juniper engineers have built our product portfolio—including the PTX Series, MX Series, QFX Series, SRX Series, and NFX Series—for longevity.  This is what enabled Juniper to step up to the plate and provide an IEEE 802.3bs-compliant 400GbE interface on the PTX5000, enabling Verizon to achieve monumental success with their 400G technology trial.  It is this commitment to engineering longevity that has enabled the PTX5000 to endure, delivering three generations of line cards over four years with a clear vision of future generations pushing the platform past well past the 100 Tbps threshold in the same chassis.

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Verizon interoperability field trial used standards-compliant Ciena and Juniper equipment.


Engineering Simplicity in Action

Complexity has plagued humanity since the dawn of time, and history is full of examples of challenges overcome.  Reliably creating fire without harming the environment or the individual.  Safely generating electricity and delivering it to towns, cities, states, and nations.  And now, building a router that can quickly facilitate a request to showcase the Internet’s new top speed of 400GbE while hiding the complex engineering that is typically taken for granted. 


As Rami declared at the recent NXTWORK 2017 event, "Juniper Networks has always been about innovation that stems from a focus on engineering, and we believe that creating simplicity through engineering is the highest form of innovation."  With the Verizon 400GbE proof of concept, this concept is now clearly on display.