Juniper jumps into the data center fray

Robert Clark
19 May 2010

The data center is where the action is for everybody these days.

Vendors, telcos and IT services guys are crowding into the space.

3-2-1” architecture

With new routers and 10Gbps Ethernet switches, 3-2-1 will deliver eightfold higher network speeds, one-third lower capex and a huge fall in the volume of switching activity, Juniper says.

The new architecture foreshadows Juniper’s much-touted Project Stratus, due to be launched in 2011, which is aimed to collapse the data center network into a single layer.

Juniper says deployment of 3-2-1 in a 500-server data center would generate 20% capex and total cost of ownership (TCO) savings over comparable Cisco gear. In a 9,200-server facility that would rise to 39% and 38% respectively.

Juniper hired a hall in central Beijing yesterday to unveil its new data center solutions, which also included software for data center provisioning and management and new security features.

While these are clearly enterprise-focused, David Yen, executive vice president and head of the fabric & switching group, said he now spent more time talking data centers with telecom service providers than businesses.

Telcos are also drawn by the sheer scale of looming technology change.

In designing new systems, he observes that the biggest saving “is not from 10% here or 15% there.”

“Ultimately, the dramatic improvement always comes from fundamental new architecture.”

That’s a reference to Status, which is intended to increase performance five or tenfold,

Yen says the data center is “the provisioning center” for all kinds of content and IT services.

On the near horizon are concepts such as desktop virtualization, which would allow users to carry a light client device and also simplify IT ops for enterprise IT staff.

“Who is going to serve data for virtualised desktops? It’s the closest data center.”

It’s that cloud opportunity that is drawing telcos, and everyone else, into the data center.

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