Juniper Continues Data Center Blitz With 'Stratus Project'

data center

Juniper's data center initiative, code-named the Stratus Project, aims to create a single data center fabric that the company said, "will deliver a quantum jump in scale, performance and simplicity, with the flexibility to support fully converged and virtualized data center environments."

The Stratus Project is being developed by Juniper's newly formed Data Center Business Group, which will be led by executive vice president David Yen.

Few details of the Stratus Project were available, but according to Yen, the new data center fabric will greatly reduce latency in data center networks and integrate security. It will also aim to remove the complexity from the large data center.

"It will be managed logically like a single large JUNOS switch," Yen said at Juniper's Worldwide Analyst Meeting.

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The data center fabric vision will integrate a cloud-computing infrastructure that enables operational innovation based on the ability to "connect everything and empower anyone." Juniper said its vision will pave the way for "super data centers," which can dynamically allocate any resource, including routing and security services, storage, appliances and servers, without compromise.

Juniper said today's legacy architectures are constraining the data center as companies try to increase applications, servers, storage and network traffic. To combat that, Juniper is rethinking the network from the ground up, driving its long-term strategy to develop a single data center fabric that can scale to a super data center, while also driving down the cost and complexity of managing the data center infrastructure.

Juniper's data center strategy will focus strongly on the virtualization of the data center network infrastructure. Yen could not say when Stratus would be available in full, but said the project is a "multiyear journey," adding that "customers need long-term planning for their future data centers."

The Stratus Project, which has been under way for more than a year, is named for the meteorological term "stratus," or a flat, single-layered cloud. So far, the project pans multiple business groups within Juniper and has resulted in more than 30 patent application filings.

"The Stratus Project is Juniper's effort to bring its high-performance networking expertise to the data center," Yen said.

Yen said Juniper aims to design its data center fabric to be flat, nonblocking and lossless to support converged traffic at 10-Gigabit Ethernet access port speed and optimized for server virtualization.

"We're building Stratus with the virtual machine in mind," Yen said, adding the project will maximize the efficiency and elasticity offered by data center virtualization while unlocking the true potential of cloud computing.

The fabric will be scalable from tens of ports to tens of thousands of 10 GbE ports; reliable with no single point of failure or downtime for reconfiguration and maintenance; secure, offering tightly integrated and virtualized security services; and simple, presenting itself as a single, very large switch based on JUNOS Software as the single operating system.

The creation of a data center fabric continues Juniper's charge into the data center, which officially launched with the Data Center Infrastructure Solutions architecture in November 2008. The Data Center Infrastructure Solutions set comprises the EX Series Ethernet Switches, the MX Series Ethernet Services Routers and the SRX Series Services Gateways.

Juniper on Tuesday also released the EX2500 10 Gigabit Ethernet access switch for data center access. The new switch, which is expected to be available in the second quarter, takes on high-performance server access requirements with 24 10 GbE SFP+ ports for wire-speed performance and 700 nanosecond latency.

Juniper has said that its data center solutions available today can significantly reduce network complexity and total cost of ownership by up to 52 percent in capital expenditures, up to 44 percent in power, up to 44 percent in cooling and up to 55 percent in rack space in the data center.

According to Juniper, technologies that stem from the Stratus Project will augment and enhance Juniper's portfolio.

"Juniper's Stratus Project addresses the modern mega data center's pain points and endeavors to enable cloud computing to fulfill its maximum potential," Yen said. "Reinventing and flattening the data center network is a very hard problem to solve and it requires a unique set of expertise and resources to tackle this challenge."