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Juniper Targets Data Center With Solutions Play

Andrew R. Hickey
data center infrastructure

The new data center network architecture, which combines the EX 4200 virtual chassis switch, the SRX security solution, the EX 8200 data center switch for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and the MX Ethernet series router to connect across data centers, was designed to aid in data center consolidation and server virtualization.

"This is not about a product, but about a solution," said Viswesh Ananthakrishnan, Juniper's director of data center solutions line management.

According to Ananthakrishnan, Juniper's Data Center Infrastructure Solutions can reduce network complexity and total cost of ownership by up to 52 percent in capital expenditures, up to 44 percent in power consumption, up to 44 percent in cooling and up to 55 percent in rack space in the data center compared to legacy architectures.

Juniper's data center approach centers around JUNOS, its network operating system for switching, routing and security technologies, Ananthakrishnan said.

Ananthakrishnan said the data center strategy reduces complexity through the combination of the EX, MX and SRX series products, which consolidate services and data center switching layers resulting in capital cost savings. Juniper's virtual chassis technology in the EX 4200 series Ethernet switches, combined with line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance on its chassis-based gear can reduce the number of interswitch links and the amount of equipment required in the data center by up to half, Ananthakrishnan said. The chassis-based products include the upcoming EX 8200 series Ethernet switches and current MX-series Ethernet Services Routers with advanced layer 2 and 3 network virtualization.

Additionally, the SRX services gateways are used to consolidate the sprawl of service-specific security appliances in legacy networks, where a typical security solution would require more than 12 separate appliances. The SRX can reduce those appliances into a single platform, requiring less rack space while delivering high performance. Integrating several services into one platform helps companies turn on new VPN, firewall and intrusion prevention services without sacrificing performance or security, Ananthakrishnan said.

The data center infrastructure can also be managed through a single framework, the Juniper's Network and Security Manager (NSM) manages the elements across routing, switching and security portfolios. And the use of JUNOS software across the network eliminates the need to run several operating systems for routing, switching and services.

Lastly, Juniper's new data center vision collapses layers and consolidates appliances to make the data center network more efficient to operate and manage. Juniper's approach can also lower power, cooling and space requirements to significantly reduce customers' total cost of ownership.

Ananthakrishnan said the new architecture tackles the pain points of virtualization, storage traffic and application delivery head on, as cost and complexity is holding back many from utilizing these new technologies.

"What if you had a single switch and everything was connected to that switch?" he asked.

Ananthakrishnan said the new data center design is capable of passing 120 million packets per second per line card with minimal latency, while each line card has 320 Gbps of capacity. The EX 8200, which will be powering the data center, comes in 8- and 16-slot models, the 8208 and 8216 respectively.

"This allows you to collapse layers, have fewer interconnects and have fewer boxes," said Bobby Guhasarkar, Juniper's senior manager of product marketing, Ethernet Platforms Business Group.

For the channel, the new architecture and its JUNOS base make it easier to implement and troubleshoot, Guhasarkar said. It also eases time spent investigating code. Overall, he said, VARs can take on more strategic projects.

"Partners can really go in and be the trusted advisors," Guhasarkar said.

It also opens up new services opportunities for solution providers looking to bring their clients up to speed with virtualization and its network impact while spelling out the cost difference compared to legacy solutions.

"They really haven't had a compelling solution like this that adds real world value," he said.

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