I was recently invited to speak at a very nice marketing event conducted by one of our partners, AvanTel Networks. The event was connected to the premier showing of the new movie “Moneyball,” based upon the book of the same name by Michael Lewis. I could not help but note the similarities between the movie and Juniper’s QFabric.
If you are not familiar with the premise of Moneyball, Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland A’s, faced a serious dilemma in 2002: how to beat the New York Yankees when the Yankees spent over three times as much as Oakland on player salaries. It was clear that the A’s could not outspend the Yankees and beat them at their own game. So Beane changed his game by using analytical analysis to evaluate and select players to build his team. He ignored the long-held traditions and conventional wisdom of player selection in the grand old game of baseball, building a record-setting team at a fraction of the cost. In so doing, Beane forever changed the game of baseball.
In many ways, Juniper is in a similar situation to the A’s. Juniper does not want to try and outspend our largest competitor or attempt to beat them at their own game. Instead, we changed the game itself.
In the data center network, the “traditions” are represented by the multi-tiered legacy architectures originally designed to meet the needs of data centers 10 to 15 years ago. But the world has changed. The legacy network never anticipated a world of SOA applications, virtualized servers and network-connected storage. And when you are the entrenched market share leader, you are not motivated to simplify the network since it would cause you to sell less. At Juniper, we knew we had to be better. So we changed the game and flattened the network.
QFabric represents a rethink of the data center network architecture. Rather than build a network out of multiple Ethernet switches, Juniper has changed the scaling model of the switch itself. The result is a faster, simpler, and less expensive solution than the approaches proposed by other vendors. In addition, the inherent flatness of QFabric provides the ideal foundation for today’s, virtualized data center by removing the constraints of network locality when provisioning an application or VM.
In the end, QFabric will forever change how we build and operate data centers—much the same way that Billy Beane changed the game of baseball.
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