Juniper Adds New EX Data Center Switch

making the plunge into the enterprise Ethernet switching market data center networking

At its Worldwide Analyst Meeting in San Mateo, Calif., Juniper unveiled the EX2500 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching line, aimed at enterprise and service provider data center networks that require high-density 10 GbE deployments for low latency and high availability.

Juniper said the EX2500 will fuel the deployment of applications and services across the network.

"Customers need switching solutions that deliver speed, high availability, unified communications, integrated security and operational excellence in unison—our EX Series fulfills these needs," said Hitesh Sheth, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Ethernet Platforms Business Group. "The addition of the EX2500 line was driven by our on-going collaboration with our customers, especially those with data center projects who want to achieve increased performance and decreased operating expenses. The EX2500 is the ideal high-density 10 GbE, top-of-rack switching solution to meet their business, economic and technical requirements of a service-enabling network infrastructure."

According to Juniper, the top-of-rack EX2500 10 GbE switches target high-performance server access requirements with 24 10 GbE SFP+ ports for wire-speed performance and 700-nanosecond latency. The EX2500 will be offered as fixed-configuration Ethernet platforms.

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Juniper said the EX2500 line offers wire-rate performance that can support 480 Gbps throughput in a 1 RU footprint. The switches will support both back-to-front and front-to-back cooling for flexibility and consistency with server designs for hot- and cold-aisle layouts. The high-availability switch will come standard with power and fan redundancy and feature dual load-sharing power supplies along with redundant, variable-speed fans to protect from single power supply or fan failure.

Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif., said the EX2500 Series is expected to be available in the second quarter with a list price starting at $18,000.

The EX2500 joins the EX3200, EX4200 and EX8200 Ethernet switching lines, which Juniper officially unveiled in January 2008, marking its official entrance into the enterprise Ethernet switch market. As of late last year, the EX line had been deployed in more than 100 customer networks and in 2008's second quarter the switching line generated $10 million in revenue for Juniper.

The EX2500 line also continues Juniper's bid to control the data center and aid data center consolidation, a space traditional networking vendors have been targeting in earnest for the past several months. The EX2500 will fit into Juniper's Data Center Infrastructure Solutions offering, an architecture that ties together a host of Juniper products, including EX Series Ethernet switches, SRX Series Services Gateways and MX-series Ethernet Services Routers.

Other networking vendors, such as Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard's ProCurve Networking by HP, have also been eying the data center and rolling out gear to offer an end-to-end solution set that corners both the network and the data center.