Uncommon Wisdom

Feb 25 2008   11:47PM GMT

Juniper separates router control plane processing

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Juniper today announced a significant shift in the traditional architecture of routers, one that allows an external server (the JCS 1200) to provide control plane processing for forwarding-plane networks created on Juniper’s line of routers. Traditional router architecture has used either an integrated processor for both data forwarding and control processing, or a separate board within the router for the control plane handling. The new architecture allows an enormous increase in the processing resources available to handle “control plane” activity, which includes the processing of management requests, topology updates, and other IP control packets. Since Juniper has previously announced an “Open Junos” architecture where developers can add logic to the Junos control plane software, this would appear to open the door to embed significant service and feature intelligence in network devices. This in turn could empower service providers to differentiate their services through these embedded features, or to sell access to them as a new revenue source.

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