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Juniper uncorks its core SDN switch earlier than expected

Jim Duffy | April 1, 2013
Earlier than expected, Juniper this week unveiled the EX9200 programmable core switch for 10G, 40G and 100Gbps software-defined networks.

It is unclear what Juniper will position against Cisco's new Nexus 6000 40G data center switch but it's conceivable the EX9200, perhaps in combination with QFabric top-of-rack nodes, will take that on as well.

Dasgupta says Juniper is still committed to continued development of single-tier fabric architectures and that there's demand for the predictable low latency switching it's designed for. He says Juniper is signing up a couple of "full" QFabric - node and interconnect - customers per quarter.

"In 10 years, every data center will need an architecture like QFabric," Dasgupta says. "You will be able to sign your application performance SLAs in blood" with such an architecture.

He would not comment on whether 100G is planned for QFabric, but it appears it is still unclear if the QFabric Interconnect will attain it.

"I can't comment on when 100G [might emerge] for QFabric at the edge," Dasgupta said, apparently referring to the top-of-rack nodes. Juniper declined to clarify Dasgupta's remark.

If only QFabric top-of-rack nodes attain 100G, they will connect into an EX9200 core for two-tier data center networking, sources say. Juniper is positioning the EX9200 as the optimal platform for that, they say, in combination with the EX series and/or QFabric 1G/10G top-of-rack switches.

In addition to the EX9200, Juniper this week also unveiled a network management application for controlling mixed environments of wired and wireless LANs in campuses and data centers. Junos Space Network Director includes the RingMaster management application Juniper obtained from its acquisition of Trapeze Networks in 2010.

Network Director will work with a new virtualized wireless controller Juniper also rolled out this week. The JunosV Wireless LAN Controller is software that runs as a VM on x86 servers that's designed to abstract the underlying hardware appliance that provides wireless control services.

The JunosV WLC will be embedded in the EX9200 in about a year, Dasgupta says. From the core, it will be able to manage thousands of access points and tens of thousands of WLAN users, with high-availability, he says.

 

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