With that, Juniper unveiled its Stratus Project, a multiyear effort to develop a converged datacenter fabric with server, storage, and software partners. Stratus is a year old and comprises six elements: a datacenter manager, storage, compute, Layer 4-7 switching, appliances, and networking.
Stratus is intended to be a flat, non-blocking, lossless fabric supporting tens of thousands of Gigabit Ethernet ports, an order of magnitude reduction in latency, no single point of failure, and with security tightly integrated and virtualized. Stratus is expected to support the Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) datacenter fabric specifications being defined and endorsed by several vendors.
Stratus will be managed like a large JUNOS-based switch, said David Yen, Juniper executive vice president of the datacenter business group.
Stratus is designed to relieve datacenter scaling "pain" because of latency, power, space, cost, and complexity, Yen said. It is also intended to support datacenter virtualization for "elasticity and efficiency," Yen said.
Yen would not provide details into Stratus products, configurations, pricing, or availability. He indicated, though, that it will not have a material impact on Juniper's 2009 revenue.
Juniper is announcing Stratus now to allow customers to plan their long-term datacenter migration strategies, Yen said.
"Stratus extends Juniper's high-performance networking core competencies into the datacenter," Yen said. "It allows Juniper to enter a new addressable market space. We have no vested interest in prolonging suboptimal legacy architectures. We are in a unique position to revolutionize the datacenter."
"With one stroke, Juniper is devaluing Cisco's incumbency," says Tom Nolle, president of consultancy CIMI. "They are positioning away from current technologies [like Fibre Channel and Infiniband] that have no accommodation to the fabric as a network backplane, or as the basis for future virtualization support.
"Cisco has a lot of collisions with incumbents," Nolle adds, referring to the California blade server's anticipated impact on Cisco's relationships with IBM and HP. "Juniper cannot hope to match Cisco in breadth so it is making that an asset instead of a liability. Juniper is timing its success with Stratus to the economy's recovery and to developing symbioses with partners."
Other analysts wanted more meat to it.
"It was long on vision and short on details," said Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group. "They threw this vision out there with no kind of road map on how to get there. With the installed base of Fibre Channel and Infiniband, there's a staged approach that they're going to have to go through to get there."
But they did lay out some new datacenter products. Juniper unveiled a top-of-rack datacenter switch targeted at high-density 10G Ethernet deployments.
The EX2500 provides server access with 24 10G Ethernet SFP+ ports and 700-nanosecond latency. The fixed configuration switches support 480Gbps full duplex throughput in a 1 RU footprint. All ports are non-blocking, Juniper says.