The QFX5120 and QFX5110: There’s no better season to ‘switch’ with Juniper


The QFX5120 and QFX5110: There’s no better season to ‘switch’ with Juniper

It’s no doubt been a year not to remember. And while the holidays may be a nice reminder that 2020 is almost over, they are also a great time to take a look at some pretty joyous things that have been coming down the networking chimney from Juniper Networks in recent weeks.

First --  Juniper recently announced it will be acquiring the IBN-(intent-based networking) centered Apstra and partnering with Zenlayer, adding more automation clout to its PTX and QFX data center switches.

And second -- In addition to the pandemic-fueled data storm the networking world is currently weathering, there are simply a lot of good top-of-rack 1U Juniper switches available in the secondary market – most notably two powerful models from the QFX series


Brightening your network with the QFX5120 and QFX5110

This month we added the QFX5120-48Y to our catalog, a move from the extremely popular, low-latency workhorse, QFX5100-48S.

While both are similar in stature and are part of Juniper’s second generation of smaller data center switches, there are two notable additions included with the QFX5120: a native 25GbE server option and built-in QSP28 ports to handle either 40GbE or 100GbE outputs.

The QFX5110-48-S is another subseries model we’ve fancied this year. Like it’s QFX5120 big brother, it too features 100G port capability, better bandwidth and buffer capacity than its series predecessor.

It’s also worth noting that both are built with Broadcom Trident chipsets, giving them VXLAN capabilities that many switches with Tomahawk chipsets just can’t deliver. And as you can see below, the QFX5120 and QFX5110 still retain the impressive latency that the series was founded on.

Juniper Switch Model





1.44 Tbps


2 Tbps

Port Densities

48 x 10GbE

6 x 40 GbE

48 x 10GbE

4 x 40/100GbE

48 x 10/25GbE

8 x 40/100GbE










The power of Santa’s sleigh, in an elf-like frame

Juniper Networks has come a long way since it shook up the data center switch market in 2008 with its virtual chassis technology. The rollout of the L2/L3 QFX5110 and QFX5120 switches was pretty revolutionary in its own right, as the newbies sported port bandwidth and cloud capabilities effectively took the QFX5100 series out of the 2000s networking mindset and into the new age of data switching demands.

As aforementioned, the 100GbE fixture is an absolute groundbreaker in terms of putting your network in a more secure, adaptable place without sacrificing space or VXLAN options. One of the other great benefits of the QFX5110 and the QFX5120 switches is their versatility -- where they both can be mixed and matched with many of the QFX subseries models or stand alone.

Additionally, the latency through the QFX5120’s 25GbE ports is much lower than that of comparable switches like the Quanta T7032-IX1B and the Dell Z9100, that are built with the Tomahawk chipset.


The bells -- and whistles -- will continue to ring for years to come

While the QFX5100 series may have a fixed configuration, the virtual chassis feature on the QFX5110 and QFX5120 models allow you to control all of your Juniper switches under one chassis on Juniper’s dependable Junos OS.  A few other highlights include support for Python and zero-touch provisioning (ZTP), automation and the ability to serve as a flexible forwarding table.

So what’s right for your network?

The two models are no doubt very similar across the board. With that said, if you’re looking for a switch with a little more juice in the tank to handle larger operations, we’d err with the QFX5120 due to its Trident3 chipset and offering 25GbE and 100Gbe access.

For most networks, the QFX5110 is more than suitable -- dare we say awesome -- choice that flashes 100Gbe port density, low latency, and bandwidth capacity that rivals its brother switch.

Summing it all up, you’ve got two products built for the future of data center networking. And in our opinion, that’s a feature you can’t live without in this day and age.


Don’t get scrooged by not buying now

Juniper reported record sales for its QFX series switches during the 4th quarter of 2019, and with the unforeseen data explosion and recent acquisitions to better its automation capabilities, it will likely be another great year-end in sales for the networking giant.

What does that mean for you? If you’re seriously considering pulling the trigger on a network switch, now is the time to buy. Based on our sales for the QFX5100, the QFX5120 and QFX5110 won’t stay on the shelves for long -- and you don’t want to be left in the cold buying these switches at cost.


We’re your north pole workshop for all networking needs

Just because you demand top networking equipment, doesn’t mean you have to pay top equipment prices. We have the QFX series as well as other Juniper switches in stock and ready to ship today!

Who are we? 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 Networks products and so much more. Email us or call +1 (415) 230-4353 to speak to a Terabit representative for a quote today!

December 17, 2020