Monday, May 17, 2010

Juniper Outlines 3-2-1 Data Center Architecture, 10 GbE Switch

Juniper Networks outlined its new "3-2-1" data center network architecture
aimed at improving latency, increasing density, boosting security, lowering power requirement and simplifying management.

Juniper's plan is to leverage a "Virtual Chassis" fabric technology to reduce from three to two layers, and then collapse to one layer via Juniper's "Project Stratus" fabric in the future. Data centers typically have access, aggregation and core switching layers. Juniper currently collapses the aggregation and core layers into a single switch. The Virtual Chassis creates a single, logical switching fabric across multiple racks in the data center, so that a pool of compute resources can be more effectively virtualized. Juniper estimates that its Virtual Chassis will let administrators move virtual machines between 10x faster than current approaches. Ultimately, Juniper's Project Stratus seeks to collapse data center switching into a single, logical layer linking potentially thousands of servers.

As part of the announcement, Juniper introduced its new EX4500 switch with up to 48 10GbE ports and its EX8200-40 SX line card, both of which use a new switching ASIC that was developed in-house. The EX4500 switch is designed for top-of-rack data center access, while the new line card can be inserted into the company's EX8200 chassis to enable up to 640 ports of 10 GigE in a single box. Availability is slated for later this year.

Juniper is seeking to drive simplification through a single network OS (Junos), single software release chain, and flexible software platforms (Junos, Junos Space and Junos Pulse).

Junos Space (announced last October) aims to automate provisioning, management and support for data center networks. The company is rolling out four new Junos Space software applications: Virtual Control software to manage physical and virtual systems from a common orchestration platform; Ethernet Design and Security Design software to enable rapid configuration and deployment of data center networks and security policies; and Service Now with Service Insight to enable fast and proactive detection, diagnosis and resolution of network issues.

Juniper is working with VMware to achieve seamless orchestration across both physical and virtual network elements.

Juniper is also pursuing a "dynamic security model" for the data center using its SRX Series Services Gateways. This is accomplished with new AppTrack software, which enables application and user visibility to better manage data flows and pinpoint bottlenecks. In addition, Junos Pulse (now shipping) and Junos Space (including Security Design) enable IT to dynamically manage identities, applications and policies across their network from devices to data centers.

Juniper also announced that IBM has started shipping OEM versions of the SRX Series, enabling IBM customers to get the world's fastest network firewall as part of their integrated data center solutions.

The company also introduced its new Juniper Care Plus services portfolio, offering mission-critical support for enterprise customers.

See also