Juniper was named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Open, Programmable Switches For A Businesswide Software-Defined Network, Q3 2020. The report analysis, based on three categories—strategy, current offering, and market presence—, begins with a review of key takeaways from the report, goes on to discuss key technology requirements and wraps with an evaluation of each vendor against the established criteria.
Forrester Wave™: Analysis
The Forrester Wave™ envisions a single, businesswide switching fabric to become the de facto architecture. The key guidance the report offers for what to look for in a provider:
- “Evolve in a linear transition, not a step function, no matter the starting point.” The report guides customers that: “switching solutions must be open and flexible to replace the current equipment at each stage in evolution.” Migration to new technologies is not only about the tech: “it takes time to evolve skills, metrics, and processes.”
- “Standardize operations across hardware and virtual environments.” Adopting technology siloed into a limited environment creates far more challenges in end-to-end delivery. The inherent handoff points in policy and operations become painful points of inconsistency, visibility gaps, and deployment and troubleshooting delays.
- “Set up with the least amount of risk and the most options.” As workload designs and DevOps automation and practices multiply, programmability and open design become paramount in infrastructure choices. As the report, authored by Andre Kindness, states: “many clients tell us that their networking teams aren’t ready for all-in-one packages.”
Comprehensive Switching and Fabric Management
Juniper Networks QFX line of switches runs the same Junos OS used by its other switching and security products, as well as its routers that power the world’s largest and most complex networks. The Forrester report notes in its profile of Juniper:
“The OS supports switching hardware from the data center to the campus edge and delivers some of the most robust and sophisticated sets of switching and routing features.”
By using a common operating system, Juniper delivers a consistent implementation and operation of control plane features across all products. Junos OS employs a highly available modular architecture that prevents isolated failures from bringing down an entire system.
The QFX switches support a diverse set of deployment options, including Layer 3 fabric and Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks. Customers can choose the architecture that best suits their deployment needs and easily adapt and evolve as requirements change over time. The QFX switches serve as the universal building block for all of these switching architectures, enabling data center operators to build cloud networks their way.
For customers looking to build scale-out data centers, a spine-and-leaf IP Fabric is ideal thanks to its non-blocking and predictable performance and scale characteristics. Customers can choose to create two- and three-or-more-tier Clos and Benes fabrics with QFX switches to scale their data center fabric however they choose. Additionally, various models of QFX can serve as both spine or leaf depending on the requirements of the business.
To support legacy application customers can deploy overlay networks that provide Layer 2 adjacencies over Layer 3 fabrics. These overlay networks use VXLAN in the data plane and EVPN to program the overlays. The overlays can operate without a controller or can be orchestrated with Contrail Enterprise Multicloud to provide L2/L3 overlay virtual networking and security for bare metal servers and virtual workloads. Watch this series of short demos to see for yourself. Juniper has led various open standards efforts to create open networking fabrics, and is a leader in EVPN-VXLAN implementations.
The Next Step: Automation
The Forrester report states:
“Customers that want to automate the entire network with a consistent OS, from the data center to the business edge, should look to Juniper Networks.”
Automating the creation of an IP fabric at a large scale can be difficult. To solve this problem, Juniper’s Contrail Enterprise Multicloud uses intent-based methodology to onboard and manage IP fabrics.
For customers with an existing or burgeoning automating practice, Juniper’s One Junos and robust APIs allow network operators to create their own reusable automation solutions; and it allows them to do so using many different automation frameworks. So operators can choose the framework that they are most comfortable with. Furthering this goal, Juniper provides educational materials to help customers get started with automation. NRE Labs is an open-source, browser-based educational project focused on making network automation accessible for everyone.
Analytics are key
As networks evolve to accommodate exponential traffic growth, enterprises need a network analytics solution that provides real-time visibility into their network infrastructure. Combining the power of telemetry and machine learning, HealthBot automates network monitoring, diagnostics and root-cause analysis both inside and outside the data center. It also provides predictive insights by aggregating, filtering and analyzing large volumes of real-time telemetry data. The data analytics capabilities include data mining, mathematical algorithms and machine learning. HealthBot also comes with several built-in network/device health monitoring profiles or playbooks which can be customized by the user. In addition, users can create their own playbooks.
Customers Experience the Value
See what Juniper can do for you. Build the network that best suits the needs of the business and leave your options open as those requirements evolve. As the report puts it, “The OS supports switching hardware from the data center, to the campus edge…”. Juniper’s roots in open standards make us an ideal partner for creating open and programmable fabrics.
Find out more about why Juniper was named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Open, Programmable Switches For A Businesswide Software-Defined Network, Q3 2020.