Juniper Networks kit that HPE will get if $14B buy clears

HPE will inherit a raft of Ethernet storage networking kit and more should the proposed purchase of Juniper Networks get the approval of shareholders and regulators. Our sister site The Register covered the news earlier today and here we look at the networking specialist’s portfolio.

Juniper supplies data center switches that support NVMe/RoCE v2 workloads. There are two Juniper switch product lines; the EX campus and branch switches and the QFX data center switches. Juniper also has Apstra network management software.

The EX line consists of;

Juniper EX4400
  • EX2300 – 1RU
    • EX2300 Multigigabit, 1RU
    • EX-2300-C – 1RU
  • EX3400 – 1RU
  • EX4100,
    • EX4100 Multigigabit, 1RU
    • EX4100F – 1RU
  • EX4300 – 1RU
    • EX4300 Multigigabit -1RU
  • EX4400 – 1RU
    • EX4400 Multigigabit – 1RU
    • EX4400-24X – 1RU
  • EX4600 – 1RU
    • EX4650 – 1RU
  • EX9200 –  5, 8 or 16RU
    • EX9250 – 1 or 3RU

The QFX series switches have 100G and 400G speeds and support Priority Flow Control (PFC) and Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN). NVMe/TCP is supported by Juniper’s EVPN-VXLAN offering. Juniper’s Apstra netwprk management product can manage and provision VXLAN tunnels for storage traffic with telemetry data signalling IO throughput.

Juniper QFX5100-24.
Juniper QFX10008.

The QFX line looks like this;

  • QFX5100
    • QFX5110 – leaf, 1RU
    • QFX5120 – spine, leaf, top of rack, 1RU
    • QFX5130 – leaf, top of rack, 1RU
  • QFX5200 – leaf, top of rack, to 100GbE, 1RU
    • QFX5210 – leaf, top of rack, to 100GbE, 2RU
    • QFX5220 – leaf, top of rack, 1RU (QFX5220-32CD), 4RU (QFX5220-128C)
    • QFX5230 – spine, to 400GbE, 2RU
  • QFX5700 – spine and leaf, to 400GbE, 5RU
  • QFX10000 – spine and core switches
    • QFX10002 – 2RU, fixed configuration
    • QFX10008 – 13RU
    • QFX10016 – 21RU

There is a lot of overlap and the hardware is sometimes identical; the EX4650 and QFX5120-48Y share the same box and the same chipset is used in the EX4600 and QFX5100. 

Apstra is the management software, it has multi-vendor support and provides intent-based networking. This means customer admin staff specify the network topology, VLANs, desired capacity, redundancy requirements, access rules, etc., and the Apstra SW translate this to device-specific configuration and policies.

HPE would also acquire limited Fiber Channel networking with Juniper, as its QFX3500 switch supports native FC ports as well as Ethernet ports. It can act as an FCoE to FC gateway or as an FCoE transit device. All FCoE traffic must travel in a VLAN dedicated to transporting only FCoE traffic. Only FCoE interfaces should be members of an FCoE VLAN. Ethernet traffic that is not FCoE or FIP traffic must travel in a different VLAN. In effect the FC traffic is a guest on a Juniper netrwork and HPE will not gain native FC storage networking.There is more information to be found here.

HPE would gain cross-selling and up-selling capability with Aruba edge customers getting Juniper product pitches, and Juniper customers receiving Aruba pitches. Apstra would probably get extended to manage Aruba devices. Currently they are managed with Aruba Networking Central. We can expect gateways between the two and a possible subsequent merger.

The Juniper products will most likely have a GreenLake subscription business model added as well.

In acquiring Juniper, HPW would also get a stronger competitive stance versus Dell’s PowerSwitch LAN networking line. This HPE-Juniper deal could possibly spark a Dell network supplier acquisition in the future. No doubt Cisco is watching developments with interest too.