Secure Juniper triggers Dell's OEM'ing instinct
But Brocade still has a home in the range
Dell is going to OEM Juniper networking gear as well as Brocade's, because of Juniper's superiority in wide area networking and security.
It is going to take certain models of Juniper's MX Series services routers, EX Series Ethernet switches and SRX Series services gateways, all of which run Junos software. Dell will supply them as PowerConnect J-Series products, complementing its existing Brocade-based PowerConnect B-Series products, which include Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) switches and FCoE CNAs (Converged Network Adapters). Dell will also use Juniper's network management product.
Brad Anderson, Dell's senior vp for its Enterprise Product Group, said the Juniper agreement will help Dell "address many of our customer’s biggest challenges, including a dramatic rise in security concerns, an increasingly dispersed workforce and challenges brought on with the advent of the virtualised data centre.”
The background is the move to unified data centres, featuring virtualised servers and network fabric converged into Ethernet, which carries WAN and LAN traffic as well as storage networking traffic, currently sent via Fibre Channel cables and switches. The convergence onto Ethernet and use of virtualised servers and storage will help make data centres easier to implement and operate and increase their efficiency. This will help as organisations move to a cloud-like IT service model, where services are provisioned on demand and dynamically.
In response to this, Cisco and server/systems companies such as Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle/Sun are building integrated stacks of servers, networking and storage gear. Dell is using open standards to interconnect its stack components, as it believes many customers may still want to buy component layers of their unified data centres separately, rather than as a single all-in-one stack from a one-stop-shop.
Why Juniper? Larry Hart, Dell's senior manager for storage and networking, said: "We believe Juniper is a leader in WAN and security."
Broadly speaking, Juniper makes networking gear with bigger and faster switches than Brocade. Its products have been used, for example, by the New York Stock Exchange for backbone networking.
Juniper has a market capitalisation of $13bn versus Brocade's $3.2bn. It does not have an FCoE range but there is an overlap with Brocade in the Ethernet chassis area. Dell says it can offer complete IT for the virtualised data centre through the Juniper technology, including application mobility for disparate data centres and Ethernet Virtual Chassis technology. The Brocade technology will be used for FCoE applications "that will interoperate with legacy Fibre Channel SANs and provide customers with a transition to iSCSI."
I agree to a point. We've been using their ScreenOS SSG firewalls and to be honest - they rock. Couldn't recommend a better firewall than the SSG series - truly great. (Using the 520 and a couple of 320's plus a handful of 5's and 20's too for remote branch sites)
Got one of their SA devices for SSL VPN / Remote access / Citrix Gateway which is also highly recommended. Not a firewall - it's a SSL VPN gateway.
Also using a couple of their MX series routers / switches which again, are awesome. However the rest of our network is made from ProCurve switches.
The Juniper kit is very, very strong, enterprise grade equipment. Good support and very capable products. However I agree that their product lines are so hard to understand it sometimes puts Cisco in a good light. Think Juniper are trying to blur the lines too hard in their product line up. JunOS is truly a great network platform, but as it does nearly everything (can't vouch for JunOS firewalls as we use ScreenOS) then why they need so many series of switches and routers I don't know...
Not sure who makes the Dell PowerConnect 62xx series of rack level switches but they suck. If it's Foundry then I'd rather Dell use Juniper or HP to be honest. CLI is bloody awful!
Anyway - Juniper kit is great in my experience. Though can't vouch for edge / distro switch level. (core switches/routers are fine though)
bigger and faster?
I think not. Foundry(like others) are years ahead of Juniper in the switching area. They have much bigger, much faster switches, and they have some really really big routers as well(3.2Tbps, 4 billion pps) which I'm sure can rival Juniper's biggest stuff.
Having just gone through a examination of Juniper switches their stuff falls short in many areas, biggest being ease of use, 10GbE and cost.
It won't even take 5 minutes of time to look at Juniper's portfolio of switching gear to see that they have a ways to go. They make great routers, and it makes sense for organizations that use their routers to use their switches, single vendor etc.. But best of breed in switching they are not(not that Foundry/Brocade is but they are better).
Even their firewalls are interesting. We're looking at Juniper firewalls as well and the general recommendation is to avoid the JunOS-based firewalls(SRX etc) and stick to the ScreenOS products as they have much better features still. I think Juniper has 4 separate firewall product lines at least..their product line up is almost as complicated as Cisco's.
Give me low cost, high density, power efficient 10GbaseT with an easy to use interface and advanced Ethernet based protocols for simple network management. There aren't many vendors that offer that combination..well I can only think of one, whom I've been using for the better part of the last decade.