Juniper Brings QFabric Networking Infrastructure to Mid-Tier Data Centers

Juniper’s new QFX3000-M, which enables businesses to deploy the QFabric networking fabric in smaller spaces, will challenge rivals like Cisco and HP.

Juniper Networks is bringing its QFabric networking fabric to midsize businesses, a move that will grow its competition against the likes of Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

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

Introduced last year, QFabric has been typically aimed at large data centers, 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 June 12, 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 center trends€”including cloud computing, virtualization, 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 theirs beyond the larger data centers and into the midmarket. Dhritiman Dasgupta, senior director of product marketing for campus and data center at Juniper, said the new QFabric offering fits in with the company€™s other efforts with midsize businesses, where Juniper has had a €œrazor-sharp focus€ on management simplification.

€œWe€™ve been very successful in mid-tier data centers,€ Dasgupta told eWEEK.

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

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 center 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 center 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 kilometers, or almost 50 miles.

Such capabilities are important for a business that might have a large data center, a satellite operation and a large branch within the same metro areas, Dasgupta said. €œThat€™s very common,€ he said.

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