Juniper Adds 2 New Switches to Unite Networking Architecture

The company unveils the EX2300 and EX3400, which increase the options available to customers in the Unite initiative announced last fall.

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Juniper Networks is adding to its Unite networking architecture with the addition of two new EX Series access switches that officials say will bring greater security and easier management to campus and branch networks.

The new switches—the the EX2300 and EX3400—will give small and midsize businesses a more manageable network infrastructure as they continue their migration to the cloud, company officials said. At the same time, enterprises now have more options as they look to scale their operations.

The networking gear is part of Juniper's Unite architecture, which the company introduced in September 2015 to help businesses as they embrace cloud computing environments for their enterprises. The architecture is based on Juniper's Junos networking software portfolio and comes with a range of switch, routing and management options. The new EX Series switches increase the options for customers.

"As enterprises of all sizes are undergoing major IT networking transformations, Juniper is committed to continuing to provide a solution that makes it easier to manage network operations," Jennifer Blatnik, vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper, said in a statement. "Expanding the Unite architecture with the new EX switches offers our customers more choice, flexibility and investment protection."

In addition, the EX2300 and EX3400 switches also support Junos Fusion Enterprise, which provides automated network configuration and simplified scaling for cloud-enabled networks. It collapses multiple network layers into a single enterprise network. This enables businesses' IT staff to spend more time on innovation and less on provisioning the systems, Juniper's Blatnik said.

The switches also serve as enforcement points throughout the network, bringing greater security to Juniper's software-defined networking (SDN) platform, she said.

Juniper officials last year unveiled the Unite architecture to create a cloud-ready network infrastructure that can span the data center and campus networks. It was a recognition of the move enterprises are making to the cloud as well as a way to offer these customers a more complete solution rather than simply point products.

"Literally everything is moving to the cloud," Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of development and innovation at Juniper, wrote in a post on the company blog at the time. "From public to private to hybrid, enterprises are adopting cloud technologies as their default operating model, making campus networks the critical on-ramp to cloud-based applications deployed in private clouds, on-premise data centers or hosted remote locations."

Patrick Filkins, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said in a research note after Unite was announced that he expected the architecture "to attract attention from large enterprises and position Juniper to compete on more equal footing with enterprise market leader Cisco."

The new switches build on the initiative. The entry-level EX2300 and EX2300-C are 1 Gigabit Ethernet access switches with uplinks to 10GbE to better address bandwidth demand from such applications as the cloud, rich media and video. They can be deployed as endpoints in a Junos Fusion Enterprise fabric, and in smaller deployments, up to four of the switches can be combined in a Juniper Virtual Chassis configuration for simplified operations. The EX2300-C is a compact and fanless option for quiet environments.

The mid-level EX3400 is a GbE switch with uplinks to both 10GbE and 40GbE and includes high-availability features like redundant power supplies and fans. Like the EX2300, the EX3400 can be deployed as endpoints in a Junos Fusion Enterprise fabric, and up to 10 of the switches can be combined in a Virtual Chassis configuration.

Both switches offer on-box management that provides easy management, configuration and troubleshooting through a Web browser interface, the company said.

"Enterprise customers today want an easy, automated way to scale their networks," Matt Hurley, corporate vice president of global channels and field marketing at Juniper, wrote in a post on the company blog. "These switches … are a smart, easy and economical way to provision a network of almost any size quickly. They are seriously better options than any other campus access and data center switches available today."