back to article Juniper future-proofs 'programmable' switches in Cisco battle

Juniper networks has trotted out a new line of EX series modular Ethernet switches that will scale up to 100 Gigabit/sec links later this year – and its timing is spot on. With a resurgent Cisco Systems on its hands, Juniper Networks must work harder to get attention and peddle networking gear to the world's data centers and …


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strange specs

"The big bad switch is the EX9214, which is a 16U chassis that has fourteen slots for line cards. The EX9200 switch fabric delivers up to 240Gb/sec per slot at full duplex and the midplane in the top-end EX9214 delivers up to 13.2Tb/sec of bandwidth and supports 1 million MAC addresses and up to 32,000 VLANs. The EX9214 doubles up the port count over the EX9208, delivering 480 Gigabit ports, 320 10GE ports, 48 40GE ports, and 20 100GE ports."

13.2Tbps of bandwidth yet only 48x40Gbps ports? (~4Tbps?) or 320x10GbE (~6.4Tbps) ? I guess they have room for expansion -- I am curious is the limitation in the switch fabric itself right now (e.g. is the 13Tbps number quoted purely the midplane and not actually what the switch can handle).

I recall many years ago(mid 00s) my reps telling me about "Cisco math" where they add up the bandwidth of the slots, as well as the aggregate bandwidth of all of the ports(for local switching that would not traverse the slot fabric) and that would get you your bandwidth number. They did that to one of their own chassis switches at the time to show comparison, then later changed their minds. The numbers went from 1.2Tbps to 360Gbps - pretty big difference.

The large number of MACs and VLANs is quite impressive though.

I have always been partial/biased to Extreme networks for my stuff(mainly for ease of use) - so for comparison the Black Diamond X8 which started shipping to customers early last year in a 14.5U chassis has up to 20Tbps of capacity(15Tbps if you remove the N+1 fail over so really 15Tbps). Not sure why El reg never seems to cover them while they cover other smaller players like Arista etc.. maybe the vendors are paying the companies to post the articles. Extreme has never been too big on advertising at least as long as I've been a customer(long time).

ANYWAY, it sports up to 192x40GbE line rate connections(can use break out cables for high density 10GbE as well), also has 10G SFP as well as 10G copper (both of these are lower density due to # of connectors required vs using 40GbE +breakout cables). Nothing slower than 10G though(would be a waste!). 2.5Tbps(full duplex) per slot (8 slots). Though significantly lower Mac addresses (128k) and VLANs (4k) vs this new Juniper offering.

It has a unique design on the inside - not using a back plane or a mid plane, they call it "Direct Orthogonal Data Path Mating System". As far as I know it still uses Broadcom ASICs, Extreme hasn't developed their own ASICs in many years now. I've been waiting to see who next might come out with something that can compete with that level of bandwidth in a similarly sized package, so far haven't noticed any.

The X8 powers the recently launched NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer(it's also used by the LINX among other customers of course)

Anonymous Coward

Such a big box but still no space for the antenna connectors? And I bet they have forgotten the little stick-on rubber feet too, the shysters.

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