Data Center Directions
MichaelLeonard , Regular Visitor
Data Center Directions
Solving the Network Services Provisioning Challenge
Oct 3, 2012

Centralization of applications at large scale in a consolidated data center, and the increasing size of software-as-a-service application deployments, creates the need to deploy thousands of 1GbE/10GbE ports to connect to servers and storage devices in the data center. Service providers need a way to terminate application servers without having to build layers of separately managed networking devices. They also need to be able to configure services from a central location and automate the provisioning of their network devices. This is driving the need for a device-based solution that can control thousands of network ports from a single point and that can interface with service orchestration systems.


The Services Provisioning Challenge

As service providers seek to deploy new cloud and network services at high scale, managing and maintaining individual network devices adds additional layers of operational complexity. As layers of network devices are added to the environment, service providers have to work with multiple management systems to provision, troubleshoot, and operate the devices. These additional layers may translate into additional points of failure or dependency reducing service performance. To meet this challenge Juniper Networks has released the Junos Node Unifier, a Junos OS platform clustering program that reduces complexity and increases deployment flexibility by centralizing management and automating configuration of switch ports attached to MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers acting as hubs. You can visit the landing page for the product launch here, link.


Simplifying the Network

The Junos Node Unifier enables scaling up of applications in the data center by supporting a low cost method to connect network devices to a central hub. It reduces equipment and cabling costs and increases deployment flexibility by centralizing management and automating device configuration, while overcoming chassis limitations to enable the connection of thousands of switch ports to be attached to the MX Series platform. The Junos Node Unifier solution leverages the MX Series modular chassis-based systems as well as access platforms including Juniper Networks QFX3500 QFabric Node, Juniper Networks EX4200 Ethernet Switch and EX3300 Ethernet Switch, to be used as hub and satellites respectively. Junos Node Unifier leverages the full feature set of these devices to support multiple connection types at optimal rates, with increased interface density as well as support for L2 switching and L3/MPLS routing on the access satellites.


Support for Many Use Cases

Junos Node Unifier supports a number of use cases such as port multiplexing and server port aggregation. In port mux/demux mode, Junos Node Unifier supports extending “dumb” satellite ports to the hub device and lets the hub device make the L2 and L3 switching/routing decisions. This mode can be used to connect to a set of servers in a port fan out model, running different applications owned by different tenants when no server or tenant needs to talk to the other. With L2 switching on the satellites, applications are supported where the majority of the traffic is north-south but some east-west traffic exists. For example, for a Web application that has a database server and an analytics engine residing on the same Ethernet segment, these servers are forming one “application” and need to be on the same satellite device so that they can talk to each other in the most cost-effective and performance optimized way. L3 routing on the satellites enables capabilities such as implementing policy-based forwarding decisions for security policies per application, flow control, filtering between tenants, etc., or where there are IP or MPLS-based requirements in the data center.


Benefits of Junos Node Unifier

  • Supports clustering of data center switches from a central hub, for port-fan-out, and port-multiplexing.
  • Increased interface density, fiber / copper interfaces options, and oversubscription factors.
  • Single device-based point of management for provisioning, operations, monitoring, maintenance, logs and platform discovery.
  • Enables rich services on the satellite devices by retaining individual feature set while in cluster mode, supporting switching, routing and MPLS.
  • Intelligent deployment model, that optimizes connection types and ensures high performance for multiple traffic types.


For More Information

See the Junos Node Unifier Solution Brief, Link.

Visit the Juniper MX Series product page, Link.

JUNOs Node Unifier can be downloaded here: Link.