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Juniper collapses the data center

Unveils switches, routers and software to reduce layers and set stage for 'Project Stratus'

By , Network World
May 17, 2010 01:22 PM ET

Network World - Juniper Networks this week unveiled new switches, routers, software and services designed to help enterprise IT reduce the cost and complexity of data center networking while also improving application and business performance. 

Juniper execs share network vision

The new products and services address automation, virtualization and fabric technologies. Taken together, Juniper claims they can dramatically increase performance, while reducing operational time and cost by eliminating to need to acquire additional products to boost performance, and decreasing the number of switching "tiers" in a network.

Juniper is proposing a "3-2-1" data center network architecture designed to allow customers to flatten and simplify legacy data center networks. Juniper says its Virtual Chassis fabric technology, in which 10 Juniper fixed-configuration switches can be interconnected into a single "switch" supporting hundreds of Gigabit Ethernet ports, can reduce three layers to two today.

Juniper's Project Stratus can then collapse the infrastructure to one layer in the future.

"It's clear to the industry that, because of server virtualization, a new network needs to emerge," says Cindy Borovick, a data center analyst at IDC. "[Juniper's announcement] is a reaffirmation of that, with proof points."

The first deliverable from Project Stratus, a multiyear effort to develop a flat, converged data center fabric, will be in the first half of 2011, Juniper says. But for now, Juniper rolled out new routers and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches designed to help flatten the network fabric to improve performance and decrease cost.

The switches include the EX 4500, a 48-port, top-of-rack 10G Ethernet switch that will support Virtual Chassis in a future release. Juniper says the 4500 is Converged Enhanced Ethernet and Data Center Bridging "capable," and 44% more power efficient than Cisco's Nexus 5000.

CEE and DCB are emerging technologies and standards for making Ethernet a lossless fabric for the data center, capable of supporting storage traffic -- such as FibreChannel -- for converged storage and server access.

Juniper also unveiled a 40-port 10G Ethernet line card for its EX 8200 core switch. This will position the 8200 as an end-of-row switch for aggregating multiple 10G links from servers and server switches.

The new router is the MX 80 3D Ethernet edge services router. It incorporates the Trio chipset Juniper unveiled last fall that's designed to dynamically and simultaneously support more subscribers, services and bandwidth.  

The MX 3D is designed for virtual machine mobility between data centers interconnected by Ethernet Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS). VPLS provides a single Layer 2 domain between these data centers, in effect providing the stitching in a cloud infrastructure.

This will compete with Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization data center interconnect technology.  

New software includes four JUNOS Space applications. They are Virtual Control, Ethernet Design, Security Design and Services Insight.

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