When it comes to data center design and infrastructure, we talk a lot about cloud computing, virtualization, and ways to do more with less hardware. No matter what the architecture, you still need the right connectivity hardware in order to bring it all together. Routing, switching systems, and the means to secure data systems are still an essential part of data center design.
Router and switch sales are climbing. According to a recent report from the Dell’Oro Group, core router sales were up nine percent in Q3 of 2015, with sales from Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper, and ZTE outpacing the competition. 2014 was a strong year for edge router sales, and companies are now building out 100 Gbps backbones in order to support cloud computing. Crehan Research reports that the Ethernet switch market continues to grow, with the strongest growth coming from 10 Gbps and 10GBASE-T switches.
Juniper Networks is gaining ground as one of the market leaders with the introduction of new routers, switches, and gateways specifically for the data center, and resellers should take a closer look at Juniper’s new hardware.
A New Spine Switch with Data Center Horsepower
Last spring, Juniper introduced new switching and routing hardware built around new ASIC technology that puts Juniper in the race with other data center hardware vendors.
Juniper’s new QFX10000 spine switch was designed to deliver massive throughput in order to support virtualization and high-capacity data center traffic. This switch has 2.8 Tbps capacity and, according to Juniper, has the highest 100 Gbps density device available. This particular spine switch runs on a Q5 custom ASIC that lets the switch scale from 3 to 96 Tbps of throughput, and it’s designed to handle future ASIC upgrades that can deliver up to 200 Tbps with support for 400GbE.
One of the advantages of using the QXF10000 for data center applications is that it supports virtual buffering in order to accommodate bursts of heavy traffic, such as generated in Hadoop. Virtual buffering is handled by the switch in conjunction with Junos Fusion, Juniper’s software that provides an open, scalable switch fabric with a single point of management. Junos Fusion aggregates QXF switching devices in order to handle large-scale applications such as data center and cloud hosting environments.
New SDN Support
In order to extend its data center product offering, Juniper also has added the Converged Supercore with new ASIC in order to upgrade the company’s PTX series routers. Converged Supercore provides a scalable routing platform that can control and launch virtualized services at scale anywhere in the network. The ExpressPlus chip is the engine that powers software-defined networking (SDN), designed to deliver 1.5 operations per second with a 3D memory architecture.
Juniper offers three PTX IP routers. The PTX 5000 is a single-chassis unit that delivers 24 Tbps. The PTX3000 is a half-rack unit that offers 8 Tbps. The PTX1000 delivers 3 Tbps in two rack units.
The NorthStar Controller is Juniper’s multilayer SDN controller solution that automates network traffic paths while providing visibility across the entire wide area network. It allows operators to optimize the entire network infrastructure using proactive monitoring and planning in order to create routing paths.
Gateways with Virtual Security
The third product announcement from Juniper relevant to data center architects is for the upgraded SRX5000 Services gateways. This new generation of gateways uses the Express Path silicon, which Juniper claims, boosts throughput and reduces latency. It also keeps up with the security needs of a data center that is processing massive amounts of data (up to 2 Tbps).
The SRX5000 Services gateway series includes physical and virtual security networking. The vSRX virtual firewall delivers advanced security features and includes automated lifecycle management. It’s also fast, supporting firewall speeds of up to 17 Gbps using two virtual CPUs. The upgraded Juniper gateway routers are clearly designed for enterprises and service providers looking for scalable security for private, public, and hybrid clouds.
Juniper is clearly making a bid to take on Cisco and other switching and routing providers with a new set of products designed to deliver performance as the data center grows. As Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said when he introduced these new products, “Routing, switching, and security are all equally important in the solutions we deliver to our customers.”