Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Japan's StarBED3 Deploys Juniper's QFabric

StarBED3, the advanced IP network simulator run by Japan's  National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), has deployed Juniper Networks' QFX3000-M QFabric System to support research and development of next-generation networks, security and services.

Located at the Hokuriku StarBED Technology Center, StarBED3 is NICT's third-generation IP network test bed, aimed at emulating large and complex network environments. It comprises more than 1,100 physical servers, together with network switch clusters for controlling experimental nodes and supporting interactive communication over a backbone operating at speeds of up to 200 Gbps. Specifically, NICT is using a QFabric System in a single-layer, distributed switch architecture featuring top-of-rack access nodes and a centralized control node for each logical device, significantly reducing operating costs. The QFabric System currently links 224 experimental servers at StarBED3 at high speed and with less than three microseconds of latency, all within a compact space and with low power consumption.

Juniper said a key issue in constructing the StarBED3 network infrastructure was how to connect the largest possible number of servers at high speed with low latency while working within physical space and power consumption limitations. Another challenge was the traditional approach of concentrating core switches in a single location, creating high cable densities that significantly compromise operational maintenance procedures. NICT was able to overcome these challenges with QFabric technology.

"We have to provide a highly flexible PC server cluster network suitable for a wide range of R&D projects on ICT technology. But often, when you try to design a flexible configuration consisting of many PC server groups linked together by small network devices, you run into problems with speed limitations and latency as well as with operational and administration standardization. QFabric addresses these issues and provides the ideal configuration for next-generation data centers. We see QFabric as a powerful tool for taking our large-scale emulation environment into the next generation," Shinsuke Miwa, director, NICT Hokuriku StarBED Technology Center.


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