Flexible Modular Data Center Architecture Simplifies Operations

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1 Flexible Modular Data Center Architecture Simplifies Operations INTRODUCTION In today s ever changing IT world, technology moves at the speed of light. In response, IT and Facility stakeholders need data center infrastructures that are built for the operational agility and manageability to adjust to shifting requirements. With many organizations utilizing virtualization to consolidate and optimize their IT resources, the network infrastructure they employ is more essential than ever before. A flexible network is fundamental to the overall performance of a virtualized environment. Hypersensitivity to network performance, once limited to a few select markets, is now applicable to a much wider audience. With the network infrastructure becoming the fabric connecting applications, machines, and users in the data center of the future, it is becoming evident to more enterprises that traditional three-tiered network architectures (See Fig. 1) are not capable of supporting the requirements of next generation business systems. Modern network architectures need to address performance, reliability, ease of scalability and simplicity of management all at the same time. Juniper s fabric-based network architectures have been designed to accommodate these requirements. DIFFICULTY SUPPORTING TOMORROW S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT The traditional three-tiered hierarchical network architecture (traditional network architecture) that has been deployed for many years has several limitations when it comes to supporting the next generation of business systems. These traditional network architectures were based on assumptions around application location and traffic patterns that no longer hold true. Today, traditional network architectures are a limiting factor in the adoption of next generation business systems. Several elements restrict traditional network architectures including: bandwidth utilization, management difficulties, and scalability issues. The utilization of available bandwidth is inherently inefficient in a traditional network architecture for two reasons. First, the Layer 2 spanning tree protocol requires inactive links to each device in each layer. This ineffective use of available bandwidth stems from the fact that both of the upstream ports on an access switch or aggregation switch cannot be used at the same time. Second, the traffic pattern assumptions that designs were based on do not apply anymore. Instead of a prevalent north-south traffic flow, new designs need to support east-west and north-south traffic flows. Also, as the network expands, the incremental performance suffers due to the latency required to traverse multiple layers of switches. In next generation business systems, bandwidth and latency are two essentials in the overall performance of the system. Management of the infrastructure in a traditional network architecture creates operational difficulties. The deployment of assets is complicated due to the manual configurations needed for each piece of equipment. Maintenance becomes a challenge because special attention needs to be paid to how each device interacts with the network. Also, grouping ports that interact more often becomes nearly impossible to administer. In next generation business systems, managing the switch network as one logical fabric will be a key component to the success of the system. WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 1 of 13

2 Traditional Three-Tier Data Center Network Architecture WAN/Core Router Core Switches Aggregation Switches Access Switches Servers / NAS / iscsi Storage Fibre Channel Switches Fibre Channel Storage Figure 1: Traditional Three-Tier Network Architecture As the footprint expands in a traditional network architecture, it becomes increasingly more challenging and expensive to implement. Extending the reach of the network requires the purchase of additional access and aggregation switches which cause additional capital expense to be incurred. The addition of extra switches causes the network performance to suffer. As the network develops, it becomes progressively more difficult to expand the infrastructure. Due to constraints on operation agility and performance, many enterprises are reconsidering the use of traditional network architectures. Enterprises need a network architecture that incorporates agility, modularity, efficiency and manageability. Success in achieving these benefits is the key to the implementation of next generation technologies. WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 2 of 13

3 NEW ARCHITECTURE SIMPLIFIES DATA CENTERS Fabric-based networks (See Fig. 2) represent the next technological advancement in network architecture. They offer a number of benefits to an organization over that of a traditional three-tiered architecture. These architectural benefits include: a single management view for the data center, a network that allows for higher bandwidth, consistent low latency, linear scalability, reduced power/ floor footprint, and simplified cabling. Figure 2: Fabric-Based Network Architecture A unified infrastructure represents a simplified management platform. The fabric in fabric-based network architecture stems from the fact that it replicates a switching fabric from a single switch on a much larger scale. A switching fabric allows for any-to-any connectivity, very low latency, and a single point of management within a single switch. A fabric-based network architecture takes this same time-tested, proven technology and expands it beyond the walls of the switch to the entire network. When the entire network views itself as one logical device, it improves operational efficiency because each device can be moved or added with far less reconfiguration required. It also allows for a mix of different types of node groups to use the same fabric. The advent of virtualized technologies has caused a paradigm shift on the physical layer from a focus on maximum resource performance to optimized network performance. A greater emphasis on video content and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has accelerated this transformation. Fabric-based networks offer any-toany, Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity. Unlike traditional network architectures, they offer an efficient use of bandwidth because all connections are simultaneously utilized. Fabric connections were designed with new cabling standards in mind (e.g., 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps), greatly reducing the cabling complexity and chance for human error when expanding the fabric. Fabric-based networks provide the bandwidth and low latency needed to accommodate the pressure a virtualized data center places on a network architecture. WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 3 of 13

4 As a network expands, it should not create a logistical nightmare in the process of scaling the architecture to meet the needs. Fabric-based networks were designed to optimize scalability. As the network grows, new nodes are easily added to the existing fabric. Also, the power consumption scales linearly as the fabric expands. It is relatively easy to migrate from an existing traditional network architecture environment to a fabric-based network architecture because the access or aggregation layer of that network can be directly connected to a network node of the fabric. In the virtualized environments of tomorrow, IT and Facility stakeholders need to have a network infrastructure with the maximized performance, simplified management platform, and flexibility to scale. Fabric-based networks address these needs by giving organizations the high performance, simple management, and the scalability needed to exceed operational requirements. HOW JUNIPER AND PANDUIT ENABLE FABRIC-BASED ARCHITECTURES The successful implementation of an advanced data center fabric-based network architecture like Juniper QFabric relies on a seamless orchestration of cabinet, cabling, cable management, and operational management solutions. With the Panduit complete physical infrastructure solution and Juniper QFabric network technology, a powerful modular data center architecture can be successfully implemented. Juniper QFabric Technology QFabric technology is Juniper Networks next-generation data center switching architecture, intended to radically transform the economics and performance of networking in the modern data center. The QFabric family of products is designed to address the emerging requirements of modern data centers ranging in size from small high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, to large-scale virtualized and converged access enterprise data centers, to cloud-based mega data centers. QFabric technology exploits the homogeneity and regular layout of a rack-based server and storage infrastructure. A single QFabric System can scale to more than 6, GbE ports with consistent end-to-end latency of five microseconds under typical loads. The lossless QFabric architecture, which is suitable for lossless storage traffic, delivers non-blocking any-to-any connectivity, an STP-free environment for L2 deployments, and a scale-out architecture for both L2 and L3 use cases all managed as a single device. QFabric architecture the result of nearly three years of extensive R&D investments is the networking industry s first true network fabric, producing more than 100 different patent filings across multiple areas of innovation. The QFabric architecture consists of four separate but interdependent components QFabric Node, QFabric Interconnect, QFabric Director, and QFabric Management Switches that work together to create a single high-performance, low latency fabric, unleashing the full power of the data center. By taking the basic attributes found in any switch fabric and breaking them out into these individual components, QFabric introduces a highly scalable solution that revolutionizes the data center network. Each component plays a vital role in how the QFabric architecture works. QFabric Node: In the QFabric architecture, the line cards that typically reside within a modular chassis switch become high density, fixed-configuration, 1 U edge devices that provide access into and out of WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 4 of 13

5 the fabric. The Node, which can also operate as an independent top-of-rack 10 GbE switch, provides compute, storage, services, and network access for the QFabric architecture. QFabric Interconnect: The Interconnect represents the typical backplane of a modular switch, connecting all Node edge devices in a full mesh topology. This topology provides the data plane connectivity between all Nodes, with the Interconnect acting as the high-performance backplane. QFabric Director: The Routing Engines embedded within a modular switch are externalized in the QFabric architecture via the Director, which provides control and management services for the fabric. Deployed in clusters to provide redundancy, Directors provide a single management interface to manage the scalable data plane provided by the Node and Interconnect devices. QFabric Management Switch: The QFabric Nodes and Interconnects are managed by the Directors via dedicated Gigabit Ethernet out-of band connections. With all components working together, the QFabric architecture behaves as a single logical switch connecting compute, storage, and network service resources. Juniper is offering two QFabric system options to address different customer deployment scenarios (See Fig.3): QFX3000-M is targeted at mid-tier data center, satellite data center, and container environments. The system scales from 48 to GbE ports, delivers the simplicity and agility of QFabric with ultra-low latency (~3 µsec) in a space-optimized form factor which provides investment protection by allowing customers to start small and scale as their demands grow. QFX3000-G is targeted at large enterprise and cloud data centers. The system scales to GbE ports and delivers the simplicity and agility of QFabric with ultra-low latency (~5 µsec). Scale Components QFabric Nodes Figure 3: Juniper QFabric Equipment Options QFX3000-M Up to 16 nodes Up to GbE ports QFX3000-G QFX3500, QFX3600 QFabric Interconnect QFX3600-I QFX3008-I QFabric Director QFabric Management Switch EX T EX F QFX3100 Up to 128 nodes Up to 6,144 10GbE ports EX T EX F WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 5 of 13

6 Juniper QFabric Components Figure 4 depicts a Juniper QFX3000-G QFabric configuration deployed in a Panduit Physical Infrastructure Solution. Figure 4: Juniper QFabric Components Juniper QFX3100 QFabric Director: Serves as the central Routing Engine for the QFabric Architecture, providing a single control and management services interface for the QFabric Architecture. Juniper QFX3008-I QFabric Interconnect: Acts as the backplane of Juniper Networks QFabric architecture, connecting all QFX3500 QFabric Node edge devices in a full mesh topology. Juniper QFX3500 Node Switch: Delivers a fabric-ready edge solution that contributes to a high-performance, low latency fabric, unleashing the power of the exponential data center. Juniper EX T Management Switch: Delivers the high availability (HA) and carrier-class reliability of modular systems with the economics and flexibility of stackable platforms, delivering a high-performance, scalable solution for the QFabric Architecture. WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 6 of 13

7 Key Elements of the Panduit Unified Physical Infrastructure SM Solution Panduit offers a complete solution for the infrastructure supporting fabric-based networks such as Juniper QFabric. Panduit Cabinet and Cable Management Solutions Panduit cabinet and cable management solutions help enable new data center architectures such as Juniper QFabric. Panduit cabinet and rack solutions support both 2-post and 4-post applications with sizes ranging from 42 RU to 52 RU. The cabinet solution also includes cable management and thermal management within/outside the cabinet. Panduit Thermal Ducting Solutions are specifically designed to work with the equipment used in a Juniper QFabric Network Architecture. Panduit pre-configured infrastructure solutions simplify and speed deployment, enhance thermal performance, and decrease energy usage. The figure below provides some of the highlights of Panduit cabinet and cable management component options that could make up its solutions. Figure 5: Panduit Cabinet and Cable Management Solutions Supporting QFabric WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 7 of 13

8 Panduit High Speed Data Transport (HSDT) Solutions Panduit fiber optic and copper cabling solutions for 10G, 40G and 100G Ethernet, and 8G, 16G, 32G Fibre Channel communications help enable new data center architectures like Juniper QFabric. Panduit Signature Core Fiber Optic Cabling System is a new Panduit innovative high performance fiber that balances both modal and chromatic dispersion allowing it to extend its reach beyond standard requirements. Panduit is paving the way in the relevant standard bodies to promote enhanced customer expectations through the use of this new technology. Signature Core extends the radius of QFabric to meet customer implementation requirements. Panduit copper technology incorporated into its SFP+ 10 Gb/s Direct Attach Copper (DAC) Cable Assemblies and TX6A 10Gig and TX6A-SD 10Gig UTP Copper Cable for 10GBASE-T provide enhanced performance characteristics. Both copper and fiber products can be incorporated into the QuickNet Cabling System which offers factory terminated and test cable assemblies. This greatly speeds up the deployment of the solution as well as ensures expected performance. Figure 6 features some of the product options that could be used in a Panduit HSDT Solution for Juniper QFabric. Figure 6: Panduit HSDT Solutions Supporting QFabric WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 8 of 13

9 Panduit Operational Management Solutions Panduit operational management solutions help enable new data center architectures like Juniper QFabric and include solutions for grounding, identification and labeling products, installation tools and Panduit Physical Infrastructure Manager (PIM ) software and appliances. Panduit Advisory Services offer a broad array of assessment and optimization services to assist customers with the evaluation and deployment of Panduit Physical Infrastructure Solutions, such as a Juniper QFabric Network Architecture. Figure 7: Panduit Operational Management Solutions Supporting QFabric WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 9 of 13

10 JUNIPER QFABRIC/PANDUIT CUSTOMER SCENARIO The following customer scenario is for a mid to large size enterprise data center deployment using a Juniper QFabric architecture and the Panduit Unified Physical Infrastructure solution. Scenario: The enterprise customer has an existing data center pod for a SAP ERP deployment. The company decided to consolidate various dev/test resources into a single pod to increase server utilization and to provide its engineers an in-house cloud environment. The IT organization just finished a VDI pilot program and decided to roll-out a deployment for 3000 users in the company. One of the main lines of business is experimenting with a Big Data initiative and needs access to a Hadoop cluster. Existing Infrastructure o Existing POD for SAP deployment with 2 server racks and 2 storage racks New Initiatives o Dev/Test Environment with 1000 vms 3 Blade Servers 2 NAS filers o Hadoop cluster 80 2 RU servers All with disk attached storage o VDI deployment with 3000 vms 3 Blade Servers 2 iscsi based storage arrays Common Infrastructure o Firewall Service Node/Load Balancer Service Node o Redundant 40G access to WAN/core o QFabric architecture with 12 nodes WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 10 of 13

11 Design Approach The IT architect maps the various application requirements into functional groups detailing the respective compute/server, storage (NAS as well as FC/iSCSI), and network services (firewall, load balancer, WAN bandwidth) resource needs. Functional Groups 6:1 Server Group 3:1 Server Group Director Fabric SAN (FC) Storage iscsi Storage Network Svcs - Services Network Svcs - WAN Fabric Connections Figure 8: Functional Group Connectivity in QFabric For each of these functional groups the architect defines the level of fabric bandwidth that in turn drives the list of required QFabric nodes, the number of 40 GbE Fabric Connections, and the type of cabinet and cable management solution. For instance, a 6:1 Oversubscription Rate Server Group would require only two 40 GbE Fabric Connections per node. While a 3:1 Oversubscription Rate Server Group would require four 40 GbE Fabric Connections per node to achieve the required level of bandwidth. Nodes (Functional Group) #Nodes # Fabric Connections SAP POD (6:1 Server Group) 2 4 Dev Test POD (3:1 Server Group) 2 8 Hadoop POD (6:1 Server Group) 2 4 VDI POD (6:1 Server Group) 2 8 Network Services FW/Load Balancer (Network Svcs Services) Network Services WAN Router (Network Svcs WAN) Sum Figure 9: Functional Groups and # of Nodes and Fabric Connections WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 11 of 13

12 Juniper QFabric Logical View of Customer Layout Panduit Physical View of Customer Layout WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 12 of 13

13 Customer Benefits The customer realized several benefits throughout the deployment and operation of this Juniper QFabric Network Architecture using a Panduit Unified Physical Infrastructure solution. The joint Juniper/Panduit solution allowed for a simplified deployment, which insured a quicker installation timeframe. Once the solution was installed, the customer noticed a higher performing network, with more bandwidth and greatly reduced latency despite running various applications on the same fabric. The customer also recognized greater energy efficiency throughout the deployment. The maintenance and operation of the network was greatly simplified which equaled less downtime and associated risks. Conclusion As virtualized environments are adopted by more enterprises, the pressure they apply on the network infrastructure will continue to cause IT and Facility Stakeholders to reconsider the network architecture they utilize. Juniper QFabric was created to optimize network performance to allow virtualized environments to function without the restrictions a traditional three-tiered network architecture can impose. In order for a Juniper QFabric network architecture to operate at the highest levels, it requires a physical infrastructure built to ensure superior performance. The Panduit Physical Infrastructure Solution provides Juniper QFabric the performance, flexibility and reliability to operate without constraints. Next Steps For more information, please contact Juniper Networks at or Panduit at About Panduit Panduit is a world-class developer and provider of leading-edge solutions that help customers optimize the physical infrastructure through simplification, agility, and operational efficiency. Panduit s Unified Physical Infrastructure SM (UPI) based solutions give enterprises the capabilities to connect, manage and automate communications, computing, power, control and security systems for a smarter, unified business foundation. Strong relationships with technology leaders complemented with its global staff and unmatched service and support, make Panduit a valuable and trusted partner. For more information, please visit 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. The company serves customers and partners worldwide. Additional information can be found at WW-CPTB-04, Rev.0, 06/2012 Page 13 of 13

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