3 reasons the Juniper QFX switch should be part of your data center network

Comparing Juniper EX4550 & QFX5100

From cloud-based storage to hyperconverged infrastructure, today’s network options offer more power, access, and security than ever.

But as you’re tweaking, tuning, and updating your architecture toward a new era of networking, make sure you don’t overlook one of the most important organs of your network body — the data switch.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at two Juniper switches--the older Juniper EX4550, and a member of Juniper’s new generation of QFX switches, the Juniper QFX5100. There are a number of models in both the EX and QFX series, but we picked these two because they’re both relatively popular choices. So if you’re looking at a different EX or QFX model, adjust your expectations up or down accordingly.

We dug deep through datasheets and tech specs to answer two fundamental questions: 1) What does the upgrade from EX to QFX truly entail? and 2) Is the upgrade worth it?

The answer to the latter of those questions will ultimately be up to you, but here’s what we found in a nutshell (and we’re going to resist the urge to make an Austin Powers reference here): sticking with (or implementing) Juniper EX switches is kind of like holding onto an older model smartphone even as the new ones come out. Your phone works fine now, so why upgrade?

But as your apps slow down and start to crash, as your finger begins mashing the touchscreen harder and harder--as if that’s going to fix anything--you’ll finally give in and go buy whatever new glowing rectangle the tech gods are forcing upon us this year.

Similarly, Juniper EX switches will probably do everything you need them to perfectly fine--for now. But if you know you’ll need to replace them eventually as demands grow, why not go ahead and upgrade to the Juniper QFX series? Why not enjoy greater network stability, flexibility, and redundancy now--all while knowing you have plenty of scalability and headroom for the future?

EX Vs. QFX: Side-by-side comparison


Virtual Chasis

Low Latency

Open architecture

Network Automation

Contrail Networking














We’ve found that, for most networks, the upgrade to QFX is more than worth it. But just like in “Captain Planet,” the power is yours--so check out our observations below and see what’s right for you. Here are the top three reasons why we think the Juniper QFX series deserves your consideration.

1) QFX network switches redefine density

One of the biggest wins for the QFX5100 is its high-density, that allows for much larger bandwidth output from a single port. While the EX4550 switch supports up to 48 wirespeed 10GbE ports in a single 1 U platform, the QFX5100 can handle 72 ports of 10GbE in a 1 U platform, 96 ports of 10GbE in a 2 U platform, and 32 ports of 40GbE in a 1 U platform. That’s more dense than a Kardashian.

With its absurdly flexible high-density capabilities, the QFX series is a substantial speed upgrade that can adapt to your enterprise’s future needs, giving you more headroom and space for whatever comes next.

2) It’s the universal soldier of network switches      

Much like the EX switch, the QFX is multi-layered and can be combined and interconnected with other switches in Virtual Chassis Mode. But the glaring advantage of QFX over EX is its ability to support the open architectures of OpenClos, IP fabric, and Contrail software. The QFX series is backed with an infrastructure that supports Contrail Networking, allowing both physical and virtual environment controls.

Having open architecture gives you the ability to mix and match hardware components with ease, since you know what’s in the veins of your network. And it helps you avoid that nasty, expensive devil we all know as “vendor lock-in.”

3) And it’s virtually unstoppable

Maintaining a robust, ever-growing network has become essential in building a data center that runs at the speed of today’s business.

QFX switchs are powerful virtual hubs that work seamlessly with both standalone and virtual architecture, and their software can be upgraded in a matter of minutes and with no downtime. They also support automated operations--which, as we’re sure the suits keep telling you--is imperative to creating an intelligent and reliable network.

Switch your network switch and join the next generation of enterprise networking

The team at Terabit Systems specializes in providing quality refurbished networking equipment-- as well as industry leading customer service--to clients worldwide. Check out our selection of Juniper QFX switches and Juniper EX switches. Email us or call +1 (415) 230-4353 to speak to a Terabit representative for a quote today.

August 05, 2019