Transformation of an enterprise service provider: Juniper MX platform

Chuck Girt, CTO, One Community
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Chuck Girt, CTO, One Community

The challenge today in Carrier class networks is meeting the high demand of customer expectations and diversity of delivery mechanisms while keeping costs within reason. As a carrier service provider solving the various transport options can be daunting and create a complex network environment. Everstream network a Northeast Ohio Carrier Service organization focused on deployment of the Juniper MX 3D universal Edge Routers throughout its broadband core network, Juniper Networks EX, ACX, and SRX series router/switches serving on the provider edge. Juniper Networks MX Series Edge Routers includes a portfolio of high performance Ethernet routers that provide unmatched flexibility and reliability to support advanced services and applications. The MX Series routers provide the scale, performance, availability, and service agility that are needed in today’s Ethernet environment. MX Series Routers run Juniper Networks Junos operating system, Juniper’s reliable, high-performance network operating system for routing, switching, and security. Running Junos OS in a network improves the reliability, performance, and security of existing applications. It automates network operations on a streamlined system, which allows IT staff to focus on deploying new applications and services. Everstream uses a broad variety of Junos OS routing capabilities, including advanced MPLS, High end routing, high availability, Quality of Service (QoS), and IP multicast. The key is the ability to be able to run multiple advanced services on the MX Series without hindrance on performance or system integrity; this is something the previous routing platform could not do. This ability to run multiple advanced services allows our customers more choices and flexibility on service delivery while being able to offer high end service assurances.

"Juniper allowed Everstream to transform their business model, which helped increase bottom line revenues"

But what was the secret sauce that made the MX Series a key fit for the Everstream network. The first key factor is the MX Series has given the flexibility to deliver robust services to its customer base, and to meet the rising demand for a diverse portfolio of Ethernet services. It allowed Everstream to provide its customers high end VPN services at both Layer 2 and Layer 3 which again on the legacy platform could not be accomplished without adding additional units to the network. The MX series changed the dynamics of what we could offer as core services, and with much less provisioning and installation work. Today, when the there is a fiber failure that affects the communications between two backbone nodes, traffic switches effortlessly within 50-milliseconds so traffic flow is not effected. The MPLS services using Resource Reservation Protocol “RSVP” allows precise traffic engineering so our engineers can define traffic flows on a primary path as well as a defined secondary path to ensure a transport circuit’s fall within their committed information rate and service level agreements.

The second key feature is the Carrier-class reliability of the MX Series designed with High availability features such as Graceful Restart, Nonstop routing, and unified in-service software upgrades. The high availability options lower the operational interaction with devices, and create a simple path for software or firmware upgrades. As a network provider it is key that the core of your network has the ability to easily be upgraded to new code to avoid scheduled service interruptions.

The third key feature of the MX series is the granular Quality of Service “QoS”. QoS ensures that time-sensitive voice and video are delivered to customers. The ability to shape bandwidth and prioritize traffic gives Everstream the ability to ensure a level of confidence that important traffic will reach its destination. This advanced QoS feature allows commitment to the customers to meet their operational needs and ensure that customer critical time sensitive traffic is properly handled.

Everstream also used various other Juniper products in conjunction with the MX-series router such as the EX, ACX, and SRX series devices to provide flexibility and resiliency at the network, and customer edge. As customer aggregation points at the edge of the network, the EX-4200, EX-4500, EX-4300, and EX-4600 are deployed in virtual chassis configurations, which allow multiple interconnected switches to act as a single logical device. New switches can be added as needed, providing a scalable solution that can grow with the individual site’s needs. These EX virtual Chassis can support speeds from 10/100/1000 Electrical interfaces, 1Gbps / 10Gbps Optical, and even 40Gbps connections. At the Customer premise the EX series makes a perfect demarcation device which allows Everstream to manage and monitor services to the edge with the ability to deliver high bandwidth 1Gbps/10Gbps to the customers. In the event MPLS is required to the edge the ACX series device offers full MPLS services with the carrier class qualities packaged in a one rack unit device. The ACX allows the delivery of Layer 2 and Layer 3 MPLS VPN services to the edge, and again with RSVP protocol enabled services can switch in less than 50ms.

So in the end what did the MX series and other Juniper platforms bring to the network? Customers are what make us and without them we are nothing, the Juniper platforms allow Everstream to meet every customer needs not just today, but for the next decade. Juniper allowed Everstream to transform their business model to “let me see if we can do that” to “yes we can” which helped increase bottom line revenues and helps maintenance a satisfied customer base.

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