By Zoe Moleshead
Juniper Networks is targeting service providers with a solution that it claims can offer more efficient and responsive delivery of services, while also increasing profitability for the providers.
MINT opportunity|~||~||~|Juniper Networks is targeting service providers with a solution that it claims can offer more efficient and responsive delivery of services, while also increasing profitability for the providers. The Model For Integrated Network Transformation (MINT) will enable service providers to address specific markets, such as consumers, businesses, voice and data, in a more effective manner, as well as capitalising on emerging markets for virtual private networks (VPNs) and video.“Until recently, service providers have generally only focused on dial-up connectivity for consumers and leased lines for corporates. For the small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) there has never really been the appropriate service offering,” says Chris Moore, regional sales manager, Juniper Networks, Middle East.“[But using MINT] there is a substantial opportunity for service providers to create the right mix of services for this market. These services could be small VPNs used to connect three or four sites together or it could be a supply chain network,” he adds.The MINT framework enables network administrators to address four key layers, ranging from transport & connectivity, resource segmentation, packet processing and policy & control. Utilising these layers service providers will be able to address everything from edge and core IP routers, partitioning of ATM, frame relay or IP networks using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS); filtering, encrypting and prioritisation of packets in response to user demands and automated billing & accounting systems.Additionally, Juniper has been able to augment these layers, following its acquistion of Unisphere last year. Integrating Unisphere products into its range has enabled Juniper to improve its MPLS VPN offerings, deliver IPv6 over MPLS, extend its SDX-300 Service Deployment System and introduce new products, including ATM2 physical interface cards (PICs) and Q-PIC cards based on Juniper’s Q performance processor.“MINT is a result of the coming together of Juniper Networks and Unisphere — acquired by Juniper in Summer 2002. Initially we filled in the gaps of the integrated Juniper and Unisphere portfolios to have consistency across the range, and this has resulted in Juniper enhancing its product portfolio, and adding significant capabilities throughout the MINT,” says Moore.According to Juniper, the MINT initiative, which spans its entire network product range, is a response to the wide scale changes that are occurring within the telecommunications and service provider industry. Telcos and service providers are faced with rolling out an increasing number of services, investing in the additional equipment to deliver these services and attempting to make some profits in a market hit by economic woes.“We believe the industry is going through a time of transformation. Fundamental to industry prosperity, telcos and service providers need to transition from a commodity transport business model to a more lucrative, value-added services model,” states Moore. “MINT provides a business and network framework to enable this,” he continues.Although the Middle East market has not suffered the same financial problems as elsewhere, due to the fact that regional telcos have continued to invest in building out their infrastructures, Moore says the MINT model offers a boost to any telco or service provider.“With MINT we are giving the players a framework to which they can model their network if they are to realise the full revenue potential of it,” he comments.“Even in markets of a monopolistic nature the telco will want to offer its customers the best range of services and maximise the potential revenues of new services. By having a network that can offer these new services, and for which they can have the appropriate accounting & billing mechanisms in place, the telcos can do exactly that,” adds Moore.||**||