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Juniper MX vs Cisco ASR Routers

Cisco and Juniper manufacture several lines of routers, but each company has a flagship series featuring the highest performance standards.

For Cisco, it’s Aggregation Services Routers (ASR), and for Juniper, it’s MX Series routers.

While there is a lot of crossover between the two lines of routers, there are also several key differences. To help you determine which routers will best fit your needs, we’ve provided an in-depth breakdown of Cisco ASR vs Juniper MX Series routers.

Juniper MX Series Routers Overview

The Juniper MX Series includes more than a dozen models in both fixed and modular configurations, spanning a wide range of edge and core networking applications.

The MX Series lineup is made up of the following models:

  • MX5
  • MX10
  • MX40
  • MX80
  • MX104
  • MX150
  • MX204
  • MX240
  • MX480
  • MX960

The MX Series includes several other high-end devices, including the MX2008, the MX2010 and the MX2020, as well as the MX10003, MX10008 and MX10016.

Cisco ASR Series Overview

Cisco’s ASR routers are broken into three series: the ASR 9000 Series, the ASR 1000 Series and the end-of-life ASR 900 Series. The ASR 9000 Series features the highest performing hardware, followed by the ASR 1000 Series and the ASR 900 Series.

The biggest difference between the ASR 9000 Series and the other two series is the operating system. The ASR 9000 runs on IOS XR and the other two series run on the IOS XE.

The ASR 9000 Series is the only one of the three ASR subseries that includes routers with core routing capabilities, in addition to edge routing capabilities.

It’s comprised of 10 models, including the following:

  • ASR 9000v
  • ASR 9001
  • ASR 9006
  • ASR 9010
  • ASR 9901
  • ASR 9904
  • ASR 9906
  • ASR 9910
  • ASR 9912
  • ASR 9922

ASR 1000 Series routers have edge routing capabilities and are available in both fixed and modular configurations. It’s made up of nine models, including the following:

  • ASR 1001-X
  • ASR 1002-X
  • ASR 1001-HX
  • ASR 1002-HX
  • ASR 1004
  • ASR 1006
  • ASR 1006-X
  • ASR 1009-X
  • ASR 1013

The ASR 900 Series includes only three models. All three feature a modular design. Those models are as follows:

  • ASR 902
  • ASR 903
  • ASR 907

Key Differences Between Juniper MX and Cisco ASR Routers

Juniper MX and Cisco ASR routers are, in many ways, very similar.

Both lines represent the highest performing routers of their respective brands and offer a wide variety of fixed and modular routers designed for edge and core routing applications for branch offices, enterprises and Internet service providers.

In addition, both Cisco ASR and Juniper MX router lineups include devices that range in size from 1 rack unit (RU) to an entire rack and support Ethernet speeds ranging from 1G to 100G.

Cisco ASR routers and Juniper MX routers designed with modular configurations also both offer flexibility in regards to customizing port configurations by allowing you to select and insert combinations of line cards. The actual systems, however, are different.

For ASR routers, line cards with ports are inserted into the router chassis, whereas MX Series Routers require you to insert a Modular Port Concentrator (MPC) into the router chassis, and then insert multiple Modular Interface Cards (MIC) into each MPC. The MICs have the ports.

There are other, more distinct differences between Juniper MX and Cisco ASR routers.

For instance, the high-end router in the Cisco ASR 9000 Series, the ASR 9922, has a slight edge over the highest performing Juniper MX Series router, the MX2020. The ASR 9922 has a maximum capacity of 160 Tbps and the MX2020 has a maximum capacity of only 80 Tbps.

But likely the biggest differences between Juniper MX and Cisco ASR routers is that each one supports different optical transceiver form factors.

Cisco supports CPAK optical transceivers — in addition to other form factors — but CPAK is Cisco’s proprietary form factors, making it exclusive to their own hardware.

Juniper MX Series routers support several other optical transceiver form factors, many of which are capable of delivering 100G Ethernet, including CFP, CFP2 and QSFP28 optics.

We Buy and Sell Cisco ASR and Juniper MX Series Routers

We understand the process of buying used network equipment is not easy — especially when you’re looking to buy hundreds or even thousands of devices.

That’s why we stock a wide selection of pre-owned equipment, including Cisco ASR routers and Juniper MX routers, at competitive prices. In addition, every piece of equipment you buy from us comes with BrightStar Systems’ one-year, in-house warranty.

We also purchase used surplus Cisco ASR routers and pre-owned Juniper MX Series routers in bulk. For more information on our buying or selling process, please contact us today.