Juniper updates MX routing platform with new silicon, built-in encryption

The flagship routing platform was updated to accommodate customers building new innovations in the era of 5G, cloud, and IOT.

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Juniper Networks on Tuesday announced the fifth generation of its MX routing platform, with updates to the flagship platform that include new, custom silicon with built-in encryption and end-to-end security.

The new Juniper Penta Silicon, along with the other innovations found in the MX platform, were designed "to help our customers transition to a new era.... as we look to things like 5G, IOT, and cloud," Donyel Jones-Williams, director of product marketing for Juniper, told ZDNet.

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For instance, the Penta Silicon offers inherent programmability, Jones-Williams said, to accommodate new, innovative protocols such as Facebook's Open/R.

In addition to that flexibility, the Penta Silicon delivers a 50 percent power efficiency gain over the existing Junos Trio chipset, creating a 3x bandwidth increase for the MX960, MX480 and MX240.

The Penta Silicon also offers native support for both MACsec and an IPsec crypto engine. Offering support for both of these types of built-in security is an industry first.

"One of the things we're starting to see emerge in the marketplace is the notion that security needs to be more blended in and pervasive through the infrastructure," Jones-Williams said.

Meanwhile, the new routing platform also implements the 3GPP CUPS standard, which allows customers to separate the evolved packet core user plane (GTP-U) and control plane (GTP-C). The updated platform supports a standard-based hardware accelerated 5G user-plane in both existing and future MX routers, and it allows for integration with third-party 5G control planes. This allows customers to build out new infrastructure, Jones-Williams said, "at performance levels that cannot be touched with virtual implementation."

Lastly, with this announcement, Juniper's universal chassis family is getting two new MX variants: MX10008 and MX10016. The universal chassis, Juniper says, reduces inventory management complexity by 80 percent in some cases.

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