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Juniper switch fabric includes single set of data center tools

The latest Juniper switch fabric is aimed at multiple data centers and includes a single set of management tools. The product is the latest under the Unite brand.

Juniper Networks Inc. has expanded the usefulness of its Unite switching fabric by providing tools that manage the network architecture across multiple data centers.

The multi-data-center technology is in Junos Space Network Director 3.0, which Juniper introduced this week. In general, the software lets network administrators provision, configure and deploy one or more groups of Juniper switches. The product also monitors and analyzes the state of the Juniper switch fabric architecture.

Along with the latest version of Network Director, Juniper introduced a top-of-rack switch called the QFX5110 and professional services to help streamline deployment of Contrail -- Juniper's software-defined networking (SDN) controller.

Network Director 3.0 adds a single set of tools for managing a Juniper switch fabric built as the underlay of a Virtual Extensible LAN connecting data centers. A VXLAN is a standard technology for moving workloads across virtualized applications in geographically dispersed data centers.

"[Network Director 3.0] is all about coherently managing" that environment, said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC.

The product update advances the Unite fabric architecture that Juniper introduced in October 2015. The first version only supported a network stretching from a data center to a company's campus.

Juniper based the Unite architecture on an open industry standard called the 802.1BR Bridge Port Extension. The LAN standard specifies the technology needed to create bridges across networks. It is often used to connect data centers to the cloud.

QFX5110 switch for high-traffic data centers

Companies interested in a Juniper switch fabric under the Unite brand are likely running high-traffic data centers, which the vendor is targeting with the QFX5110. The top-of-rack switch supports 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet access speeds and has four 100 Gbps uplinks for leaf to spine network topologies.

The latest Contrail-related professional services are aimed at companies that want to use the SDN controller within a cloud environment. The JumpStart services include installation and configuration of the controller. The service includes post-installation support.

Last week, Juniper beat Wall Street revenue and earnings expectations for the fourth quarter largely because of robust sales to companies operating data centers with cloud-based applications. The company reported higher sales of its QFX switches, PTX routers and Contrail controller. Revenue from the QFX product family grew the fastest at 90% year over year. Overall revenue rose 5% in the quarter to $1.4 billion, while earnings were flat at $197.4 million.

Cloud IT infrastructure sales are growing much faster than noncloud IT infrastructure. In the third quarter of 2016, sales of the former increased 8.1% to $8.4 billion, while revenue from the latter fell 10.8%, according to IDC.

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