Juniper Networks has unveiled QFabric, a data centre fabric. An outcome of 'Project Stratus', Juniper's multiyear data centre network research and development initiative, QFabric is said to deliver quantum leap improvements in data centre performance, operating cost and business agility, from the enterprise to the large scale cloud provider. Engineered as a simplified, highly scalable data centre network solution, QFabric enables a superior approach to building and securing virtualised data centers that eliminates the tradeoff between quality of experience and economics that plagues today's legacy networks.
QFabric is claimed to enable exponential improvements in data centre speed, scale and efficiency, by removing legacy barriers and improving business agility. QFabric's flat architecture also enables visibility, enforcement and scale across the entire physical and virtual data centre fabric. Juniper reports that it has invested three years and more than US$100 million in research and development to address these constraints, creating a new architecture that is designed to be the foundation of data centres for the next decade. QFabric delivers on Juniper's 3-2-1 data center network architecture collapsing the traditional three-layer network down to a single, high-performance layer.
"Data centre compute and storage technologies have advanced over the last decade, and the legacy approach to networking has not kept pace," said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks. "As cloud computing and the mobile internet accelerate, demand is intensifying for a quantum leap forward in data center capabilities. With QFabric, Juniper is transforming data center economics by introducing the only network fabric that is able to eliminate multiple layers of cost and complexity."
Juniper's QFabric architecture is up to ten 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 than the nearest competitive offering[i]. Improvements in operating expenses of this magnitude provide significant benefit to customers coping with the growing cost of continuing to scale data centers to drive revenue and meet escalating demands driven by cloud computing and mobile Internet.
"QFabric is an evolutionary path to a revolution in computing," said Pradeep Sindhu, founder and CTO of Juniper Networks. "We have fundamentally reengineered the datacenter network, and with QFabric we address the demand for exponential speed, scale, security and efficiency for the next decade."
A New Class of Networking Products: The QFabric Product Family
QFabric is composed of three components that create a high-performance, low latency fabric, unleashing the full power of the data centre. The QF/Node acts as the distributed decision engine of the fabric; the QF/Interconnect is the high speed transport device; and the QF/Director delivers a common window, controlling all devices as one.
Available for order today, the Juniper Networks QFX3500 is the first product in the QFabric family and a stepping stone into the QFabric architecture. It is also capable of operating as a stand-alone 64-port 10Gigabit Ethernet switch with FCoE and Fiber Channel gateway functionality. The QFX3500 offers the fastest unicast and multicast performance in the industry.
The QF/Interconnect and QF/Director will be available for order in Q3.
Juniper's Partners: Advancing the Data Centre
Juniper partners IBM, NetApp, CA Technologies and VMware believe that the QFabric architecture will help address market requirements for data centre networking and cloud.
"Our clients have been turning to the IBM Communications Service Provider Platform to rapidly create new cloud-based development environments and offer new services. Juniper's push to simplify the network aligns with IBM's vision to provide customers with a more intelligent and connected business infrastructure," said Scott Stainken, general manager, global telecommunications industry at IBM.
Juniper customers such as NYSE Euronext and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are already seeing the performance gains that the new architecture is able to deliver.
"Traditional architectures can't deliver the type of mission critical, high-speed performance our business demands in order to operate most effectively," commented Andrew Bach, senior vice president, technology, NYSE Euronext. "Juniper's reduced layer model has shown the capability to provide outstanding results in the rigorous trading environment of NYSE Euronext's data centers and we're confident this is the right solution for our business and the millions of customers that rely on our systems every day."
"Enterprises and service providers must look beyond traditional multi-layered, complex and inflexible data center networks to deliver on the business requirement for a more agile IT infrastructure and technical solutions for virtualization and cloud services," said Mark Fabbi, vice president, distinguished analyst, Gartner Research. "We're seeing the emergence of a new concept we call 'Fabric Computing' and a new round of network innovation that better meets the needs of the next generation data center."