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Juniper Networks VMX-500M vMX Virtual Router

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The Juniper Networks® vMX Virtual Router, available as licensed software for deployment on x86-based servers, Amazon Web Services (AWS), AWS GovCloud, and Microsoft Azure supports a broad range of broadband, cloud, cable, mobile, and enterprise applications. The vMX control plane is powered by Juniper Networks Junos® operating system, the same OS that powers the entire Juniper Networks MX Series Universal Routing Platform portfolio, and the forwarding plane is powered by vTrio, Juniper’s programmable Trio chipset microcode optimized for execution in x86 environments. With Junos OS and vTrio, the vMX offers advanced routing, quality of service (HQoS), and switching features that ensure the agile and highly efficient delivery of the widest variety of services.

The feature-rich vMX, built on more than 20 years of Juniper routing investment and experience, increases service agility by enabling users to quickly introduce and scale services by spinning up new routing instances on demand, and by supporting non-disruptive service introductions in parallel with current services. This approach eliminates the risk, complexity, and delay associated with reconfiguring and requalifying your current infrastructure for new services. Furthermore, the vMX has a granular licensing model that accommodates uncertain forecasts, enabling users to purchase only the amount of capacity they need, reducing the risk of stranded capital.

The vMX also eliminates the cost, complexity, and delay associated with qualifying, maintaining, and sparing physical routing elements. This enables rapid service deployment and scale-out of services, which are critical success factors when expanding into niche markets and new geographies. Importantly, these same attributes help overcome issues related to equipment acquisition for lab trials and release certification.

Importantly, the vMX offers feature consistency with the physical MX Series platforms, including support for high-performance virtual route reflection as well as virtual broadband network gateway (BNG) capabilities, including L2TP network server/Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (LNS/L2TP), Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCPv4/DHCPv6), Pseudowire Headend Termination (PWHT) support, and static and dynamic (RADIUS) subscriber interface support. Together, these sophisticated features help you create advanced, virtualized, and distributed cloud-grade networks.

Key Features

  • Virtualized MX (vMX) disaggregation
  • Control-plane scale
  • Full-featured, scalable routing support
  • Integrated with Tier-1 cloud provider infrastructure

Product Overview

Service providers, cloud operators, and enterprises need highly agile, scalable, and automated cloud-grade networks in order to increase revenue, contain expenses, and achieve operational excellence. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which decouples network functions from service-specific elements so they can run as software on x86 servers, is a critical technology for achieving these goals.

The vMX Virtual Router is a virtualized MX Series Universal Routing Platform that helps network operators of all types improve customer experience and profitability by increasing network and service agility and accelerating time to market for new services, while streamlining their operations environment.

MX Series and vMX: Consistent, Compatible, and Complementary The vMX and MX Series routers can be selected based on specific goals and objectives without any feature inconsistencies or operational penalties, enabling customers to control the pace of their network evolution without disrupting established operating environments. MX Series customers can use the vMX to scale out their networks without impacting operations or staff training. Similarly, customers can use the vMX to satisfy immediate needs and adopt MX Series routers for service scale-up at some future point, again without operational disruption.

World-Class Routing for World-Class Networks The vMX is a true carrier-class router that supports the same broad set of IPv4/IPv6 capabilities available in the MX Series portfolio. This includes comprehensive VPN support at Layer 3 (unicast and multicast L3VPNs with CoS/QoS); BNG/LNS; and a variety of multicast techniques (physical interface module and Internet Group Management Protocol). Additionally, the vMX supports advanced routing protocols such as Source Packet Routing in Networking (SPRING), also known as segment routing. SPRING helps operators ensure service quality and maximize network resource utilization by steering traffic based on the application’s need at the source node.

Improve Control Plane Scale Depending on the application, edge routers can run out of control plane resources before they run out of forwarding plane resources. The vMX overcomes this issue by allowing independent control plane and forwarding plane scale, enabling very large forwarding tables and a high number of flows to be supported.

Flexible Implementation Models The vMX is available as licensed software for x86-based servers and on Amazon Web Services (AWS), where it can provide secure routing to the cloud and between virtual private clouds and virtual networks. Additionally, AWS customers can bring their own vMX licenses to the cloud, or take advantage of hourly or annual “pay-as you-go” pricing.

Low-Risk Market Entry and Expansion Uncertain forecasts, facility costs, and pressure from incumbents can be formidable barriers to new market entry and geographic expansion. Implementing the vMX in data centers or collocation facilities instead of dedicated telco facilities is an easy and low-risk way to enter new markets and increase or decrease network capacity in response to disparities between forecast and actual service uptake. As demands grow, the vMX is easily scaled up; or conversely, if a service or market underperforms, vMX licenses and servers can be easily redeployed without stranding assets.

Automation and Programmability Included in Junos OS, the Junos Automation Toolkit is a suite of tools supported on all Juniper Networks switches, routers, and security devices. These tools, which leverage the native XML capabilities of Junos OS, include commit scripts, op scripts, event policies and event scripts, and macros that help automate operational and configuration tasks. Additionally, the Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET) provides a modern programmable toolkit while maintaining a platform independent architecture, and includes support for:

  • OpenConfig/YANG

  • gRPC, Thrift, NETCONF


  • API support for all modern programming languages

  • Rich on-box scripting support using Python


Together, Junos OS automation and programmability features save time by automating operational and configuration tasks, reduce the chance for error, speed troubleshooting, and maximize network uptime by warning operators of potential problems and automatically responding to system events.

Sample system configuration
For low-bandwidth applications, the minimum CPU requirement is Nehalem Intel processor generation or newer.
For high-bandwidth applications, the minimum Intel CPU generation required is Ivy-Bridge Intel processor generation or newer.
MemoryMinimum: 16 GB
Local or network-attached storage (NAS)
Other requirementsVT-d capability
vMX Minimum Software Requirements
Operating systemUbuntu 14.04 or 16.04 LTS
RedHat 7.4
VirtualizationQEMU-KVM 2.0.0
VMware ESXi 5.5/6.0
Perpetual 500 Mbps bandwidth license; supports 50 VPN instances (L3 VPN technologies), and 256,000 RIB and FIB entries
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