Juniper Targets Mid-Tier Data Centres With New QFabric Models

Datacentre © Leo Lintang -

Juniper has launched new Qfabric switches aimed at the mid-tier level data centre operation

Juniper Networks is ramping up its competition against the likes of Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard with the news of new QFabric equipment targeting midsize businesses.

Juniper’s QFabric technology is designed to help flatten the data centre network, creating a single networking layer that offers high performance, greater scalability and simpler manageability while saving on space, power and cabling.

Mid-Tier Option

Introduced last year, QFabric has been typically aimed at large data centres, but mid-tier businesses are experiencing the same pressures on their infrastructures, according to Denise Shiffman, vice president of Juniper’s Platform Systems Division. The new QFX3000-M, unveiled 12 June, will enable those companies to benefit from the features of QFabric in smaller increments, Shiffman told eWEEK.

Compared with competitive offerings like Cisco’s Nexus 7000 offering, the QFX3000-M takes up 63 percent less space, needs up to 74 percent fewer cables and consumes 57 percent less power, she said. The new QFabric version will not only benefit midsize businesses, but also larger enterprises that are looking to deploy the networking fabric in remote or campus environments. It addresses the multiple data centre trends – including cloud computing, virtualisation, big data and storage convergence – that are straining networking infrastructures.

The QFX3000-M also offers server-to-server traffic speed of three microseconds of latency.

Cisco, HP, Brocade and others also are pushing their own converged networking messages. Juniper is looking to bring its own equipment beyond the larger data centres and into the midmarket. Dhritiman Dasgupta, senior director of product marketing for campus and data centre at Juniper, said the new QFabric offering fits in with the company’s other efforts with midsize businesses, where Juniper has had a “razor-sharp focus” on management simplification.

“We’ve been very successful in mid-tier data centres,” Dasgupta told eWEEK.

The QFX-3000-G, for larger data centres, can scale to up to 6,144 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports; the new model scales up to 768 10GbE ports.

Other Equipment

As part of the QFX3000-M announcement, Juniper officials also unveiled the QFX3600-I, an interconnect for both the existing and mid-tier versions of the QFabric platform, enabling them to scale from 18 10GbE ports to 6,144 10GbE ports.

In addition, Juniper announced the QFX3600 node, which can be used with both QFabric systems. The QFX3600, a 40 GbE top-of-rack switch, will be released in the second half of the year.

Juniper also is growing the capabilities of its EX8200 data centre solution, which can run in both 1GbE and 10GbE environments. The EX8200 switches, running Virtual Chassis technology, now lets businesses manage up to four data centre cores as a single switch. In addition, according to Dasgupta, the four data cores don’t have to be in the same location, and instead can be separated by as much as 80 kilometres, or almost 50 miles.

Such capabilities are important for a business that might have a large data centre, a satellite operation and a large branch within the same metro areas, Dasgupta said. “That’s very common,” he said.

It also can be useful when one company buys another within the same areas, he said.

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