Juniper SCB Differences


Juniper SCB Differences

Escape from Switch Mountain

If it takes a Sherpa to guide us through the various MX Series bundles, it takes a miner to figure out what the parts do. Take the Switch Control Boards (SBC) on those units. There’s an SCB, an SCBE (“E” for “enhanced”), and an SCBE2, which is, what, twice as enhanced? Two cards in one? The number two of SCBs? What’s in these things, and why do we have to dig so deep to find out?  We’ve been to the mountaintop, but now we’ve got to bore a tunnel to see what that thing is made of. Let’s get the differences settled and escape from Switch Mountain.

Like all the switch control boards, the original workhorse SCB-MX works in all of the MX Series routers, from the 240 up through the 960.  It supports 120Gbps throughput and controls the basic system functions, like resets, booting, and hardware monitoring. Think of it as the brainstem to the routing engine’s frontal cortex. It’s typically sold with the RE-1300 or RE-2000s, with 2- or 4GB of memory respectively, so it can support a pretty big team of miners, but when the canary gets a little light-headed, it’s time to make some room for—

The enhanced version, the SCBE-MX. This board will up your throughput by a third, allowing you to add more fiber and throw some light into that tunnel. It maxes out at 160Gbps and includes a next-generation fabric chip, the XF, that handles your precious data like gemstones. This card is particularly useful if you’re running high-capacity line cards, like the 16x10GE MPC3, which can put high demands on your router, and it’s often sold with the quad-core 1800 routing engines (holding between 8GB and 32GB of RAM, depending on the model). But we all know that data is a grower, so if you want to blow the roof off your data center—

Try the SCBE2-MX, which is like the mountaintop removal mining of the Juniper world. This thing runs at 320Gbps, twice the speed of the enhanced card, with the most recent generation fabric chip, the XF2, providing support for the higher interface density of the most recent cards, including Juniper’s new MPC4 series. You’re not going to want to run this without at least the RE-S-1800X4-16G, which can handle all those BGP tables you’ll be stockpiling. The SCBE2-MX is the light at the end of the tunnel that’ll set your canary free.

As the Oracle said so long ago, “Know Your Network.” Analyzing present and future data center needs will tell you which of these SBCs you’re going to need, and there’s certainly no reason to buy the diamond mine unless you’re looking to get married to some pretty serious data, but hopefully with the information above you can start planning the right network for your needs. “. . . .and you’re thinking that all this extreme tunneling dwarfs your little data mine, fear not, Terabit Systems has some great switches for other uses, too. Good luck.

Up next we’ll go over Brocade’s  ICX66xx Series for those of you looking for different solutions. 





November 08, 2018