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Juniper '3-2-1' Architecture Seeks To Streamline Data Centers

A brace of data center products introduced by Juniper Networks this week promises to eliminate an entire layer of switching from customer networks while delivering lower latency and higher performance as well as smaller footprints and lower power consumption.

Much of the trick to the new "3-2-1" network architecture involves the application of Juniper's Virtual Chassis fabric technology to the access layer, thereby eliminating the need for aggregation. The firm claims the process can reduce by 99%, the number of switch interactions compared to legacy three layer networks.

Juniper said the new products enable legacy data center networks to be reduced almost immediately from three to two layers and to a single layer in the future. There's more to the flood of new Jupiter software, services, systems and partnerships unveiled this week: ten new Gigabit Ethernet switches yielding up to five times lower latency are promised, too. Taken together capital expenditures of data center networking can be cut by 35%, the company said.

"Legacy data center networks are inherently complex, and they often force an unacceptable trade-off between user experience and economies," said Jupiter's David Yen in a statement. "Our breakthrough 3-2-1 architecture lays out a clear path to help customers flatten the network and eliminate layers of cost and complexity while simultaneously improving application and business performance." Yen is executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Fabric and Switching Technologies Business Group.

The announcement hardens the battle lines between its data center approach and Cisco's with IBM and Dell also lining up with Juniper.

Data center improvements have been rapidly accelerating with the pell-mell rush toward cloud computing and as old alliances are being dropped in favor of new partnerships. For instance, Juniper noted that IBM will ship Juniper's SRX Series Services Gateways and that IBM will also provide Jupiter expertise and support with one call.

"The traditional approach of more boxes and more layers benefits legacy vendors, while burdening the customer with cost and complexity," said Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson. "Our approach is different , and it's fueled by a combination of Juniper and partner innovation at the systems, software and services levels – all designed to help IT eliminate those layers of cost and complexity while also enhancing applications and business performance."