Juniper Networks is introducing a totally new design for data center networking that it calls QFabric, which collapses the typical three layers of networking equipment into one for faster performance, lower latency, better scalability, reduced power consumption and lower cost. The company will begin selling the QFabric Node switch this quarter at a list price of $34,000, the first of three products that together deliver the new QFabric architecture.
The QFabric Node, the QFX3500, is for processing data on the network, determining the destination of data packets and screening them for security. The other products in the QFabric family will be called the QFabric Interconnect for data transport and the QFabric Director, which provides a management dashboard. The Interconnect and Director products are set to be released in the third quarter, and no pricing information is available yet.
While improvements have been made in the performance and efficiency of servers, processors, software and storage in data centers in recent years, the network has become a bottleneck, said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper, at a launch event Wednesday in San Francisco. "The data center has advanced significantly over the last decade, but the network, I would argue, has not kept pace," said Johnson.
Networks expanded by adding more switches, but each switch added delays because data flow would continually stop and then start again at each switch, he said. In the QFabric architecture, however, all switches are connected to all other switches--in essence, operating as one switch.
Compared with the nearest competitive offering, the QFabric architecture is up to 10 times faster, uses 77 percent less power, requires 27 percent fewer networking devices, occupies 90 percent less data center floor space and delivers a nine-fold reduction in operating resources, Juniper says. The QFX3500 can also be run as a stand-alone 64-port 10Gigabit Ethernet switch with a Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Fiber Channel gateway.