10GigE on the Juniper MX5

Juniper Network’s lowest-end router in the MX-80 series is the MX5. It is simply an MX80 chassis that is restricted from using the full capabilities of the system. Here is a breakdown of what is enabled in the various versions of the MX80 chassis:

(FPC 0 / MIC 0)
(FPC 0 / MIC 1)
(FPC 1 / MIC 0)
(FPC 1 / MIC 1)
MX5DisabledEnabled - Only for use with optional Multiservices MIC (MS-MIC-16G)Enabled
(Ships w/ MIC-3D-20GE-SFP by default)
MX10DisabledEnabled - Only for use with optional Multiservices MIC (MS-MIC-16G)Enabled (unpopulated)Enabled (unpopulated)
MX40Only Two Ports EnabledEnabled - Only for use with optional Multiservices MIC (MS-MIC-16G)Enabled (unpopulated)Enabled (unpopulated)
MX80All Four Ports EnabledEnabled - Only for use with optional Multiservices MIC (MS-MIC-16G)Enabled (unpopulated)Enabled (unpopulated)

[You can view a similar table on Juniper’s web site].

For reasons that defy logic, the upgrade license keys (i.e. MX5-10-UPG, MX10-40-UPG, MX40-80-UPG) are ridiculously overpriced. For what it costs to enable the second front MIC slot of an MX5 (i.e. MX5-10-UPG) and add a 2-port 10GigE card (i.e. MIC-3D-2XGE-XFP), you can instead buy a brand new MX-104 with on-board 4x10GigE and a  20xGigE MIC, and the remaining four MIC slots enabled. It is absurd. Juniper makes it financially unwise to upgrade an MX5, MX10, or MX40 chassis.

But what if you really want to use 10GigE on the MX5? For example, if you want to use it as a BRAS/BNG for FTTH, and need 10GigE (since NxGigE LAG doesn’t result in good performance if your selling GigE FTTH plans). Fear not! Just because the MX5 ships with a 20xGigE (MIC-3D-20GE-SFP) card populating the only usable front MIC, does not mean you have to use it. If your network design allows you to get by with just two 10GigE ports, then you can simply remove the MIC-3D-20GE-SFP and slot a MIC-3D-2XGE-XFP in its place (NOTE: the MIC-3D-4XGE-XFP is not supported in the MX5/10/40/80 — you can only use the 2-port model).