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University of Auckland Simplifies Data Center with Juniper Networks


New Zealand’s Leading University Adopts Innovative 3-2-1 Data Center Network Architecture

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) today announced that The University of Auckland has embarked on a strategy to radically simplify its data center network in order to support the adoption of a cloud computing model. By adopting Juniper Networks’ innovative “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 efficiencies.

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. “Juniper Networks’ 3-2-1 strategy made a lot of sense given the challenges we were facing”.

“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,” said Mr. Harper. “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.”

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 east-to-west.

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 Juniper Solution

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 the 3-2-1 Data Center Network Architecture, we help customers like UoA to look beyond traditional network architectures to support virtualized data centers today and fully benefit from cloud computing in the future. With technologies such as Virtual Chassis, the network becomes much more dynamic, flexible and automated without sacrificing performance.”

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks is in the business of network innovation. From devices to data centers, from consumers to cloud providers, Juniper Networks delivers the software, silicon and systems that transform the experience and economics of networking. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (

Juniper Networks and Junos are registered trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks and Junos logos are trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.


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