After 12 months of design, three years of engineering, and 140 patent applications, QFabric is now shipping. Right on schedule, I might add—just as we promised back in February at the QFabric launch. Kudos to all the engineers who made it happen.
I have always been a fan of Occam’s razor, which holds that when presented with multiple alternatives, the simplest is usually correct. We had our Occam’s razor moment three and a half years ago when Pradeep Sindhu and the architects, tasked with developing a fabric for the data center, abandoned the approach taken by literally every other networking vendor. While that approach—which employs multiple separate switches arrayed in a hierarchical structure running an overlay protocol such as Spanning Tree or TRILL—might have been the more expedient path for engineering, the Juniper team concluded it was not the simplest answer for our customers. Instead, we took a different path—one that no other vendor has followed. Here is a nice visual reminder of what makes QFabric so great:
The QFabric architecture is a radical departure from traditional methods used to connect infrastructure elements in the data center and enable the promise of clouds.
The benefits to this approach are clear:
Faster, better, simpler, less expensive. You don’t get all these benefits by simply warming over an existing switch. It only occurs when you innovate—when you fundamentally rethink the architecture. Just as we promised. Better yet, we have met or exceeded our early customer’s expectations during the early trials with others moving quickly in the same direction and so now it is time to bring QFabric to market. Today, a new era in data center network design begins with the formal release of the first true data center fabric – QFabric which will forever change the way data centers are built and operated. Ten years from now, every new data center “network” will be a fabric. What we don’t know is how the power of the fabric-enabled data center will be harnessed and what new applications it will enable. That’s what I love about the high tech world and what I love most about Juniper—the power that innovation delivers.
Exploring the vision for the networking industry and the issues shaping its future.
Vice President, Business Strategy and Marketing
Software Solutions Division