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switch for server farm

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  • 1.  switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 08:00

    Hi guys,
    I have to choose server farm switch , but i did't have enough experience for that.
    My short list vendor - Cisco and Juniper.
    technical requirements:
    - 10G
    - standart L3 switch
    - non stoping Upgrade
    - MPLS
    My server farm its about 10 servers in vCenter Cluster and storage with brocade SAN switch
    My exprince its Cisco 3850, 2960, Juniper vSRX, Extreme X670
    roughly i choosed: Cisco 3524-x, Juniper QFX5100 and Juniper EX4600
    I am inclined to option QFX5100 , because:
    - not need purchase license for L3 functions
    - FCoE
    - my be we will be usage MPLS for Campus to DC connect and it is base functionality for that box
    - that more modern equipment then EX4600

    My questions it is , what do you think about my choose and if you have approximately same configuration what are you using for that goals?
    And if you find my selection not enough convincing please give feed back why and what should i pay attention else.

  • 2.  RE: switch for server farm
    Best Answer

    Posted 05-25-2020 08:20

    Hello 34AC,


    the QFX series is a good and cost-effective Datacenter Switch which can be stacked (Virtual Chassis) perform NSSU, has MPLS and FCoE capabilities.


    As QFX5100 is already quite old, I would not recommend you this platform anymore. If you need 10G fiber ports then QFX5120-48Y would be the right choice:


    You can find all QFX5120-48Y features here:



    Here you can find more information regarding additional licenses:




  • 3.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 08:54

    thanks F1ght3r


    waht do you think about ex4600 ?

    This is also quite old?

  • 4.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 09:10

    Yes, EX4600 has the same age as QFX5100. The newer model of EX series would be EX4650 with 100G ports.

    However, an EX series device is not a Datacenter Switch, it is just an Enterprise Switch with Enterprise capabilities, although it has MPLS and FCoE capabilities.


    Personally I would not configure mission critical features like MPLS and FCoE on EX devices. They are good for Switching and can perform routing protocols, but the risk that MPLS and FCoE has some problems on EX devices is higher than on QFX devices.

  • 5.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 15:23

    The QFX is specifically a low-latency switch though isn't it? That is, for HFT purposes.

    Unless low-latency is a requirement, wouldn't EX series be more suitable?

  • 6.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 21:28

    Hi Luke,


    Your observation here is right, the QFX is indeed a low latency switch which acts as spine and leaf as compared to EX mainly for core, access and aggregation purposes. The reason to choose QFX would be it is a new generation switch from Juniper and is known to be very stable to run MPLS as Fighter mentioned in the above post. The QFX's, in general, is more hardened to my opinion.



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  • 7.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-26-2020 06:23

    @34AC - I found this thread very interesting.  Yes QFX models are generally preferred option of similar EX models, although they both have a very common feature set.  As has been stated, EX is more Enterprise/Campus focused, while QFX is more DC focused, although both can in certain instances fit well into the others space.  From a test persepctive, EX is generally test with Enterprise/Campus use cases, while QFX for DC use cases.


    I assume this is a new purchase.  If yes, you should really be discussing this with your partner of choice, and/or local Juniper Sales account team.  In general, there are lots more factors involved with such a purchase vs which switch is best for DC.  I mean architecture is generally the first discussion point, and from there the pros/cons of one approach vs another, and one switch vs another can be vetted out.


    I highly suggest you have such a discussion with someone local, who should then have a much better view of your current network and any new network requirements, both very short term, but also long term.


    Of course as far as any answer is concerned, Juniper is the obvious best choice no matter what final direction you care to take.

  • 8.  RE: switch for server farm

    Posted 05-25-2020 19:07

    Hello 34AC,

    I would recommend to try newness where there will be lot of enhacement features avaliable.I would suggest you to try QFX 5120 model as well as EX 4650

    The EX4650 Ethernet Switch offers a compact, highly scalable, high-performance 10/25/100GbE solution for midsized to large enterprise campus distribution deployments.

    QFX5120 Switches offer 1 U, 10/25/100GbE fixed configuration ideal for data centers where cloud services are being added. These services require higher network bandwidth per rack, making 10GbE, 25GbE and 100GbE the dominant port speeds in most data centers


    For more fetaures Kindly have a look on below docs so that you will get an idea 





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