EMC has validated Juniper's QFabric data center system for integration with its storage arrays, but to date, the company has no plans for a full-blown Juniper VSPEX reference architecture or go-to-market alliance around the data center, representatives from the companies told CRN Tuesday.
EMC and Juniper sought to clarify their relationship following a CRN report Monday indicating EMC's validation of QFabric as interoperable with EMC storage and that EMC and Juniper were collaborating on a reference architecture and on how to better enable channel partners of both companies to design Juniper-EMC data center solutions.
While Juniper and EMC have partnered to affirm how QFabric switches, interconnects and software can integrate with EMC's VMAX and VNX storage arrays, the two companies' relationship should not be considered a strategic alliance, a spokesperson said on behalf of EMC and Juniper in an email to CRN Tuesday.
Despite how some executives referred to the nature of the relationship for Monday's CRN article, EMC's validation of QFabric under its E-Lab interoperability testing program and QFabric's inclusion in EMC's Support Matrix for third-party solutions should not be considered a "reference architecture" in the same sense EMC uses when it refers to the VSPEX converged infrastructure designs EMC has with Cisco, Brocade and other vendors.
EMC defines VSPEX as a "pre-validated reference architecture" that includes servers, storage and networking and is sold through channel partners.
The Juniper validation, the spokesperson stated, is simply that Juniper's QFabric has been through E-Lab interoperability testing and been added to EMC's Support Matrix, which includes 1,000 servers from 27 server vendors and some 100 different storage software products that along with network connectivity elements represent millions of potential data center configurations.
"What the QFabric/EMC interoperability means is that customers can now easily plan, deploy and scale to support growing data storage environments, and quickly respond to changes in their data center networks using the Juniper Networks QFabric system or QFX3500 switch in EMC VMAX and VNX storage environments," the spokesperson said.
Juniper, which is in the midst of a significant restructuring and has parted ways with four EVP-level executives in the past month, is rumored to be an acquisition target, and EMC was mentioned as potential acquirer in a much-debunked rumor earlier in October.
Such a move would have put EMC squarely at odds with longtime strategic ally Cisco, but both EMC CEO Joe Tucci and Cisco CEO John Chambers said in recent weeks that the EMC-Cisco partnership is stable.
PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2012