University of Auckland simplifies data center with Juniper Networks


Juniper Networks announced that the University of
Auckland has embarked on a strategy to simplify its data center network to
support the adoption of a cloud computing model.


By adopting Juniper Networks’ “3-2-1” data
center network architecture and deploying a switching infrastructure running
the Junos operating system, the University of Auckland is benefiting from
better scalability and performance, reduced complexity, and greater operational


The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest
university and the only one in New Zealand ranked among the world’s top 200
higher education institutions in The
Times Higher Education World Rankings of Universities
. The
university makes significant use of virtualization within its data center, with
90 physical servers hosting 1,200 virtual machines.


“As we increased server virtualization, our legacy,
three-layer data center network was becoming a growing constraint,” said
James Harper, strategy & design manager of the university’s Information
Technology Service Department.


“Using Juniper Networks EX
Series switches with Virtual Chassis fabric technology, we were able to
collapse multiple switching layers in our legacy data center down to a
simplified two-layer infrastructure. As a result, the data center network has
become much easier to manage, with fewer devices and fewer interactions. Thanks
to these operational efficiencies, the performance issues we had been seeing
with our virtualized server clusters are a thing of the past,” Harper


Collapsing switch layers simplifies the network by
eliminating the aggregation layer a primary source of complexity in the data
center network resulting in lower operating costs, better manageability and
fewer switch interactions.


The performance and manageability of the rack-level
switching layer is equally important, especially as server virtualization
becomes commonplace. In traditional client-server data centers, 75 percent of
Ethernet traffic is north-to-south, between users and servers.


In virtualized data centers, however, up to 85 percent of
traffic is between servers and virtual machines at the access layer, or


By combining multiple physical switches into a single
logical device using Juniper Networks Virtual Chassis fabric technology,
server-to-server traffic does not need to travel north-south across switch
layers in order to move east-to-west, helping customers achieve much more
efficient network performance.


The solution deployed at the University of Auckland data
center comprises Juniper Networks EX8216 modular Ethernet switches forming the
network core, with the fixed-configuration EX4500 and EX4200 switches at the
top-of-rack layer providing 10GbE and 1GbE access ports.


When deployed in a Virtual Chassis configuration,
interconnected EX4200 switches behave as a single, logical device sharing a
common Junos operating system and configuration file, greatly simplifying
system operations, maintenance and troubleshooting.


The EX4500s also support Virtual Chassis technology and
can be combined with EX4200s in the same Virtual Chassis configuration,
enabling the University of Auckland to keep things simple as it increases the
number of server and storage racks requiring 10GbE connectivity.


“The University of Auckland has had to grapple with
the inherent limitations of three-layer networking as it virtualizes its data
center,” said Alex Gray, senior vice president and general manager of the
Campus Branch Business Unit at Juniper Networks.


With technologies such as Virtual Chassis, the network
becomes much more dynamic, flexible and automated without sacrificing


Juniper Networks recently announced
that Harris Farm Markets, Australia’s first fruit and vegetable
supermarket chain, is driving operational efficiency and stepping up its
customer service with the deployment of an integrated Juniper-based networking
solution for its stores and warehouses.


The solution, based around Juniper Networks SRX Series
Services Gateways and running on the Junos operating system, provides the
company with a secure and cost-effective network to support its point-of-sale
and inventory management applications.


By Team
[email protected]