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The Fastest Data Center in the World

by Juniper Employee ‎02-23-2012 05:11 AM - edited ‎03-08-2012 08:57 AM

The Fastest Data Center in the West World


A year ago, my colleague, Ellen Brigham, posted a blog that reported the results of the rigorous STAC M2 benchmarking of our first QFabric family member: the QFX3500 Switch. We were proud to post the best scores ever with that product, proving that Juniper was a leader in the low-latency networking space.  My more technical friends tell me the STAC benchmarks  are brutal—with precise tuning of applications, buffers and threads, placing particular stress on the multicast functions in the network (or just the switch, as was always the case up ‘til now).


Today we are releasing even more impressive results  with the benchmarking of a full QFabric System, based on the same STAC M2 standards—the first-ever STAC benchmark on a data center network  fabric (or any network environment more complex than a single switch).  This is significant because in a traditional tiered network, latency and jitter add up, meaning the larger the network gets, the less deterministic it is.  Only QFabric has proven to deliver fast, predictable performance across the more complex environment.  The benchmark determined the mean latency for the QFabric System, which in the STAC M2 test was rated at 10 microseconds (μsec).  For comparison purposes, the best published score Cisco recorded for its Nexus 5010 switch had a mean latency of 14 microseconds (μsec). Full results are available at


Since Cisco’s version of a “fabric” uses the Nexus 5000 as an access device (before you get to a Lotta Links running Cisco’s own FabricPath protocols), and a full QFabric System has shown a lower latency benchmark than a single N5k, it is safe to assume that people building data centers with QFabric will have BIG performance advantages.


With this test, we have shown that the QFabric System can serve as the heart of a high-performance data center, with the latency and management simplicity of a single low-latency switch.  This offers tremendous advantage to bankers and financial markets in particular, but it’s also exciting news for anybody dealing with large sets of real-time data such as SmartGrids, air traffic control, transportation, retailers, and national security & defense.


Based on these results demonstrating QFabric’s low-latency performance at data center scale, imagine the other performance-sensitive applications that can deliver a real advantage if “turbo charged” on a QFabric network:


  • Risk and Compliance: Some trading firms implement as many as 500 pre-trade compliance checks that run across multiple systems before a trade is approved. Removing network latency accelerates those approvals and gets winning bids into the market faster.
  • Analytics: Big data, Hadoop clusters and other large-scale data sets are taking over data center real estate.   As the data sets become more massive, best practice means you need to move the query or application to the data, rather than the other way around. The faster you can do that, the more timely—and valuable —your analysis will be.


  • Real-time Core Banking: Managing a bank with days-old data from batch reports is like flying a plane looking out the rear window. Banks like BBVA are learning that updating the general ledger in real-time is more like looking where you are going—and managing cash and risk more effectively because of it. But real-time banking creates a flood of transactions in the network core.  This is exactly QFabric’s strength, as proven in the STAC test.


  • Floor Planning: Determining where to locate servers and storage may not be the most exciting topic, but if you’ve read this blog before, you know that location matters in a data center.  System administrators carefully deploy those applications that communicate most frequently in close proximity to each other to maintain performance.  With QFabric, that careful planning is no longer necessary—you can place servers, data and applications anywhere in the data center with no performance penalty


One of the most interesting stories to come out of the QFabric System benchmark and tuning was actually an oversight. While the network team was setting up the network, they connected a Spirent TestCenter as a traffic generator for basic load testing. Once the network was up and running, the application engineers came in to set up the servers and applications and begin tuning the STAC test harness to determine the optimum configuration for the formal benchmark.


Running through some final quality checks, engineers discovered that the Spirent system had been running the entire time, broadcasting at 80Gbps across the QFabric System while the preliminary testing was going on.  The Spirent system was disconnected and the tests were run again—with no difference in the results.


Put another way, while running the most demanding, low-latency switching tests in the industry, the QFabric System absorbed an extra 80Gbps of traffic with no impact on the results. While not part of the official audit, this was a great proof-point demonstrating the performance headroom in the system.


In short, a low-latency, non-blocking, highly scalable network fabric is ideal for almost any performance-sensitive application. Add in the benefits of location flexibility, a single system to manage, and the proven capabilities of Junos, and you have the foundation for building the Fastest Data Center in the World.


For more information on the actual testing and the full report - please visit us at the QFabric site here on 


Juniper has also subjected the QFabric System to the most rigorous network performance test ever in our 1,536 port test of the full system that is we published from neworktest Associates. You can read more about that on the next blog over at ( ) .


With these two test reports - Juniper QFabric is the most throroughly tested and docuemented 10 Gigabit solution in the industry. Lots of vendors claim to be the best - Juniper has provdided the proof to support our claim: The Fastest Data Center in the World.

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About the Author
  • Prior to Juniper acquisition, Ankur was the Founder and CEO of Contrail Systems Inc - a pioneer in standards based network virtualization and scale-out networking software. Ankur has over 15 years of experience in building world-class networking products and leading high performance teams. Prior to Contrail, Ankur served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering at Aruba Networks, where he played critical roles in the rapid expansion of team, products, and global businesses. Before Aruba, Ankur helped drive Juniper’s initial entry into and expansion of the Ethernet Switching market. Ankur received his MSEE from Stanford University & BSEE from the University of Southern California.
  • I am an experienced leader in the Information Experience (iX) industry. For over 20 years, I've led information organizations at Juniper, Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle to deliver quality technical documentation and information products to customers and partners across the globe.
  • Bob Dix currently serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs & Critical Infrastructure Protection for Juniper Networks. During his career, he has served in senior leadership roles in industry and government, including serving as Staff Director for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census during the 108th Congress. He represents Juniper on the Industry Executive Point of Contact for the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee ( NSTAC ), where he chaired the Cybersecurity Collaboration Task Force in 2009. He served as Chair of the Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council ( IT SCC ) from 2008 – 2010 and currently remains a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Dix was elected in May, 2011 as Chair of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security ( PCIS ). He also serves on the National Security Task Force for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the AFCEA Cyber Security Committee and Chairs the Supply Chain Assurance Subcommittee for TechAmerica. Additionally, Dix has actively worked to insure and coordinate private sector participation and collaboration with the National Exercise Program, intended to test our nation’s preparedness and resiliency. He served as Chair of the National Private Sector Working Group for National Level Exercise 2011 and 2010. In 2007 and 2009, Dix was honored with a prestigious Federal 100 Award, and was recognized in March, 2010 as the recipient of the annual FCW Industry Eagle Award. Dix also served as a local government elected official in Northern Virginia for 12 years and in his spare time coaches AAU/Travel girls basketball.
  • Jennifer Blatnik is vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks with focus on enterprise deployments of security, routing, switching, and SDN products, as well as cloud solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises solve network security challenges. Before joining Juniper, Jennifer served multiple roles at Cisco Systems, Inc., including directing product management for security technologies aimed at small to medium enterprises, as well as supporting managed services, cloud service architectures and go-to-market strategies. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
  • Jerry oversees all aspects of OpenLab which serves as a catalyst to spark the development of new innovative software applications or solutions that leverage the power of SDN/network programmability and intelligence. OpenLab is unique within Juniper and with its polished facility, globally accessible lab, and educational programs – such as the SDN “hackathons,” it serves as a tool for customer, partners, and academia. Prior to this position, Jerry led the development, management and marketing of the company’s strategic partnerships for video/unified communications, optical networking, and content/media delivery. In addition to handling the day-to-day oversight of the partnerships, he established new cross-partner go-to-market processes to drive and manage joint field opportunities. Before joining Juniper, Jerry led the Lucent Technologies application hosting/service provider marketing organization. He has over 25 years of experience in the data networking field with a focus on strategic alliance development, marketing, and technical field support. Jerry possesses a BS degree in Computer Science from St. John’s University in New York. He is active as a Juniper ambassador within the technology and academic community which includes advisory board positions with both NJIT and Rutgers in New Jersey.
  • Kevin Walker is the Security Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Juniper’s Development and Innovation (JDI) organization. He is responsible for driving the security strategy both internally within Juniper, and externally with investors, partners, influencers, and customers. He provides the guidance required for JDI to conceive, develop and create momentum for industry-leading security solutions. Working closely with the Security Engineering team, Walker identifies the opportunities for improved security, growth, and innovation to deliver the scalable, reliable, and compliant security architecture needed in today’s security landscape. Before joining Juniper, Walker was VP and Assistant Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at He has served as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Security Strategist and Director of Information Security across a number of notable companies including Intuit, Cisco, Symantec and VERITAS Software. With over twenty-five years in various computer science and information technology disciplines, focusing on enterprise applications, network design, and information security, Walker possesses research and engineering expertise across of range of technologies including networking protocols, securing applications at the atomic level, cryptography, and speech biometrics.
  • As Juniper’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Line Management, Kevin Hutchins is responsible for defining and enabling Juniper’s strategy from company vision into product execution. This includes driving the company’s inorganic growth through strategic partnerships, venture investments and acquisitions/divestitures. In addition, he is responsible for driving key strategic imperatives, including Juniper’s software strategy and transformation. Hutchins joined Juniper in 2010 as Vice President, Portfolio Management & Business Operations for Juniper’s Development & Innovation team where he led business planning, portfolio rationalization, new product introduction and execution of strategic programs across Juniper’s portfolio of routing, switching and security products.
  • Mike Marcellin is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing team responsible for marketing Juniper’s product and services portfolio and stewarding the brand, driving preference for Juniper in the market, training our partners and account teams, and developing a differentiated information experience for our customers. Before joining the global marketing organization, Marcellin led business strategy and marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading portfolio of high-performance routing, switching and security products. Prior to joining Juniper in 2010, Marcellin served as Vice President of Global Managed Solutions for Verizon, where he oversaw product development and marketing of its managed IP networking, hosting, security and IT solutions for businesses around the world. He also served as Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Verizon Business, executive director of Verizon Business’ IP and Ethernet portfolio as well as leading the company’s eCRM marketing division. Marcellin began his career with MCI in 1994. Marcellin is a Board Member for the Telecommunications Industry Association and a Board Member of US Ignite, an NSF-sponsored initiative. Marcellin holds two patents and was a Rodman Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree with distinction in systems engineering. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Masum Mir is Vice President of Product, Solutions & Technical Marketing at Juniper Networks. Masum is responsible for the Switching product line, network management product line and optical technologies. Beside product leadership Masum also leads cloud strategy and solution architecture. Masum has 19 years of experience in communication and data networking industry with Expertise in Ethernet Switching, Data Center, Carrier Ethernet, Routing, overlay & network segmentation, Fabric technology & photonics technology.
  • Paul Obsitnik is Vice President of Service Provider Marketing for Juniper Networks Platform Systems Division (PSD), responsible for the marketing of Juniper’s portfolio of high performance routing, switching, and data center fabric products to Service Providers globally. Paul's team is responsible for marketing strategy, product marketing, go-to-market planning, and competitive analysis worldwide for the Service Provider segment. Obsitnik has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development positions with a proven track record in creating technology markets. He has served in senior marketing and sales management positions at several companies including BridgeWave Communications, ONI Systems, NorthPoint Communications and 3Com. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Obsitnik is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Pradeep Sindhu founded Juniper Networks in February 1996, and has held several central roles in shaping the company. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, and is responsible for the company's technical roadmap as well as day-to-day design and development of future products. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for eight months when he founded the company. During that time, he played a central role in the architecture, design, and development of the M40 router.
  • Rami Rahim is Chief Executive Officer of Juniper Networks and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Rahim was appointed CEO in November 2014. Rahim began his Juniper career in early 1997, as employee No. 32, and worked as an engineer on Juniper’s first breakthrough product, the M40 core router. Rahim has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Juniper, applying his engineering acumen to the design and development of Juniper’s industry-leading product portfolio. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Juniper Development and Innovation (JDI) organization, overseeing the company’s entire product and technology portfolio. His responsibilities included driving strategy, development and business growth for routing, switching, security, silicon technology, and the Junos operating system. Other leadership positions held over the years include: Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform Systems Division for routing and switching, Senior Vice President of the Edge and Aggregation Business Unit (EABU), and Vice President and General Manager of EABU.
  • As Chief Customer Officer, Vince Molinaro is responsible for driving the strategic and operational elements of the Sales, Marketing, Partners, Services and Support functions at Juniper Networks. He leads a global organization of more than 3,500 professionals that includes direct and indirect sales, systems engineering, advanced technologies and field operations. Molinaro brings more than 25 years of professional experience in engineering, product management, marketing, sales and operations to his worldwide role. He joined Juniper in 2009 and led the strategy and go-to-market execution for the company’s global service provider business. He was named EVP, Worldwide Sales in 2013 before assuming his current role in February 2014. Prior to joining Juniper, Molinaro held senior leadership positions at a number of technology companies including Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and Internap Network Services. He has extensive domestic and international experience having lived and managed large organizations throughout Europe and the U.S. Molinaro holds a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from University of Bridgeport. He is based out of the Juniper Networks facility in New Jersey, home of OpenLab, The Junos and SDN Center for Innovation.
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