Juniper Unveils MetaFabric: New Cloud Data Center Architecture

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

On Tuesday, Juniper Networks introduced a new network architecture called MetaFabric and a new QFX5100 family of top-of-rack (ToR) data center switches designed to help enterprises and service providers deal with the challenges of deploying and managing geographically distributed data centers for supporting cloud infrastructures.  

MetaFabric, Juniper's newest network architecture, is based on open interfaces that allow businesses to deploy and deliver applications as well as manage virtual and physical data center networks across multiple distributed data centers. 

This functionality is delivered through an assortment of both Juniper provided hardware and software as well as, potentially, other vendor offerings. The MetaFabric solution includes switching, routing, security, and Juniper's Contrail SDN Controller.  Being more open, Juniper is expecting this new solution to integrate with mixed data center environments and make future data centers easier to change without having to tear out existing infrastructure.

Part of that mix could include Juniper's newly released QFX5100 family of 10G and 40G top of rack (ToR) switches, which Juniper introduced concurrently with its MetaFabric announcement.  Although Juniper considers the QFX5100 ToR family to be a "foundational element of the Juniper Networks MetaFabric Architecture", the QFX5100 switches can still be deployed within Junipers existing architectures including Virtual Chassis and QFabric, and can support fabric architectures such as Leaf/Spine and Layer 3-based designs. 

The QFX5100 includes various management features that will allow for zero touch provisioning and orchestration with cloud implementations such as OpenStack and CloudStack.  The QFX5100 family also allows the switch's software to be upgraded without impacting network availability.

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With better interoperability and integration of software and hardware, and the ability for enterprises to centrally manage pooled network resources across multiple data centers, Juniper is expecting this group of solutions to be flexible enough to support the next generation of data centers, as well as improve user experience.

According to Juniper, "Today's network infrastructures are not agile enough to keep pace with new and emerging data center technologies, preventing customers from fully capitalizing on the business potential of the cloud, mobile and big data." According to Gartner, "traditional network design practices do not adequately support the modern user. To optimally serve the business, network architects must shift their thinking from technology to users and business processes." The Juniper Networks MetaFabric architecture changes the paradigm and can help network architects accelerate time to value.

Visit juniper.net for more information on the MetaFabric Architecture and the QFX5100 Ethernet Switch.

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