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Understanding the Enterprise Data Center Solution

 

Data Center Networking Architectures

Data Center network architectures have evolved rapidly in recent years, from hierarchical architectures running spanning tree protocol (STP) to spine and leaf topologies utilizing Multichassis link aggregation (MC-LAG) to modern data center fabric architectures.

Fabrics are the preferred architecture for modern data center networks, for the following reasons:

  • Topology—Fabrics leverage the non-blocking Clos designs already used extensively in wide area networks to create flatter, faster, and simpler data center network topologies.

  • Control Plane—Fabrics use a control plane that is logically separate from the rest of the network to distribute addressing information and suppress loops, thereby avoiding broadcast and other network traffic that can overwhelm a layer 2 network. The separate control plane simplifies network operation and maximizes bandwidth utilization.

  • Central point of management—The better designed fabric networks are managed as a single coherent system that automates and abstracts the provisioning and management of all devices in the data center network. Networking devices are managed individually in traditional data center networks, which significantly increases network management overhead and costs.

The two primary types of data center fabrics are Ethernet fabrics and IP fabrics. Ethernet fabrics provide typical layer 2 and layer 3 service to applications while also providing support services such as multicast and lossless data center bridging. IP fabrics provide Layer 3 service and must use overlay technologies to provide Layer 2 services over the network. Ethernet fabrics are typically simpler to install and operate. IP fabrics are typically more open and scalable than Ethernet fabrics.

The Enterprise Data Center solution documented in this guide provides a state of the art Ethernet fabric data center architecture built using Junos Fusion Data Center technology. This Enterprise Data Center solution is intended for installation in privately-owned data center networks.

Enterprise Data Center Networking Overview

Enterprise data center networks—private data center networks that are owned and operated by an Enterprise—need to move to network topologies that leverage the agility, efficiency, and simplicity provided by recent technical innovations in data center networking to best support their business requirements.

Legacy Enterprise data center networks are often hindered by a siloed approach to data center applications that evolved due to limitations with older underlying networking infrastructures. The application silos are often tightly coupled to the networking infrastructure, and the approach often leads to a topology that inefficiently provides applications over the network. A heavily-siloed data center often contains a proliferation of devices that are expensive to purchase, difficult to maintain, and difficult or impossible to upgrade due to the structured nature of the silos.

The Juniper Networks Enterprise Data Center Solution provides an agile, flexible, easy-to-manage topology that allows you to leverage modern data center networking technologies for a private Enterprise data center network.

The advantages of the Enterprise Data Center Solution include:

  • Agility—the Enterprise Data Center Solution is a topology that has the agility to support any device using any application anywhere within the Enterprise data center network. This agility extends to data center application support in environments where an application must be made available over a private and a public data center network, since many businesses simultaneously support their own private Enterprise data center network for some functions while using a public data center network provided by a service provider for other functions.

  • Adaptability—modern Enterprise data center networking equipment is often reconfigured by network operators to support the constantly evolving needs of the business. The Enterprise Data Center Solution topology has the flexibility to adapt to network changes and evolutions quickly.

  • Management—the Enterprise Data Center Solution topology is built using Junos Fusion Data Center, a technology that simplifies management for a network operator by allowing over 3,000 user-facing interfaces on 64 switches to be managed from a single device running Junos OS. The simplified management provided by Junos Fusion Data Center reduces overall cost of ownership.

Junos Fusion Data Center

The Enterprise Data Center solution is built on a Junos Fusion Data Center topology.

Junos Fusion Data Center brings Juniper Networks Junos Fusion technology to the data center. A Junos Fusion Data Center simplifies network management by allowing one or two aggregation devices running Junos OS to act as the management point or points for a topology that can include up to sixty-four satellite devices.

In the Junos Fusion Data Center topology, satellite devices provide access interfaces for endpoint devices, much like leaf devices in a traditional spine and leaf architecture. Aggregation devices, meanwhile, transfer traffic between access switches, move traffic from access switches to the Layer 3 gateway, and move traffic received from the Layer 3 gateway toward the access switches. Aggregation devices, therefore, perform many functions that are performed by spine devices in a traditional spine and leaf architecture.

Figure 1 illustrates the Junos Fusion Data Center topology used in the Enterprise Data Center solution.

Figure 1: Junos Fusion Data Center Topology
Junos Fusion
Data Center Topology

In the Enterprise Data Center Solution topology, two QFX10002 switches act as aggregation devices and sixty-four total EX4300 and QFX5100 switches act as satellite devices, providing a networking topology that provides over three thousand networking-facing interfaces managed entirely from the aggregation devices.

For additional information on Junos Fusion Data Center, see Junos Fusion Data Center Feature Guide.

Enterprise Data Center Network Requirements

The requirements for an Enterprise data center network are vast and have evolved substantially in recent years.

This section reviews common Enterprise data center network requirements, and how the Enterprise Data Center Solution addresses these requirements.

Automation and Orchestration Tools

Automation technology is technology that uses software to perform tasks that would otherwise be performed manually. Automation technology often reduces the amount of work required to configure or troubleshoot a network, for instance, although automation technology refers broadly to any tool that automates a previously manual task.

Orchestration technology takes automation to another level by utilizing automation technology to provide services in the network.

The Enterprise Data Center solution provides a powerful topology that supports a broad range of automation and orchestration tools. Juniper Networks products such as Junos Space Management and Contrail Networking can be implemented in the Enterprise Data Center solution to provide automation and orchestration. Other Juniper tools that allow Enterprise data centers to build and run applications—such as the Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET) and Junos PyEZ—are also available to enhance the Enterprise Data Center solution.

The solution’s open platform also allows the network to leverage third-party automation and orchestration tools to enhance network performance and capabilities. Third party automation frameworks such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and NETCONF are supported by the solution. The solution also provides options for programmable network platforms, OpenConfig support, and vendor-independent orchestration with software defined networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Analytics

Network analytics provide visibility into the performance and behavior of the data center infrastructure. Network analytics tools collect data from the device, analyze the data using sophisticated algorithms, and capture the results in reports. Network administrators can use the reports to help troubleshoot problems, make decisions, and adjust resources as needed.

The Enterprise Data Center solution supports a range of analytical tools available for Juniper Networks data center products, including support for obtaining fine-grained network analytics data in various formats that include Google Protocol Buffer (GBP), Javascript Object Notation (JSON), Comma-separated Values (CSV), or Tab-separated Values (TSV)

See Network Analytics Overview for additional information on data center network analytics collection.

Network Traffic Segmentation

Network traffic segmentation—the ability to isolate traffic on different paths—is required in most data center networks for a variety of reasons, including isolation of tenant traffic in a shared data center or isolation of traffic that has different handling requirement in a shared or non-shared private data center. Network traffic segmentation is provided in the Enterprise Data Center solution topology through the use of virtual LANs (VLANs), integrated routing and bridging (IRB) interfaces, and virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) instances.

VLANs are used in the Enterprise Data Center solution to segment traffic at Layer 2 and VRF instances are used to segment traffic at Layer 3. IRB interfaces are used on the aggregation devices to forward traffic between different VLANs in the data center topology.

Management

The Enterprise Data Center solution provides a centralized, easy-to-manage topology using Junos Fusion Data Center.

A Junos Fusion Data Center can manage over 3,000 access interfaces from the aggregation devices running Junos OS, allowing an Enterprise to manage a medium-sized data center from as little as two management IP addresses. This central point of management avoids the overhead of managing each device in the topology individually, which is a common requirement in traditional data center networks.

Class of Service

Junos OS class of service (CoS) enables you to divide traffic into classes and set various levels of throughput and packet loss when congestion occurs. CoS provides greater control over packet loss because you can configure rules tailored to the needs of your network.

The Enterprise Data Center solution supports a wide range of CoS options for traffic in your data center network.

For additional information on CoS in a Junos Fusion Data Center, see Understanding CoS in Junos Fusion Data Center.

Implementation

The following hardware equipment and software features were used to create the Enterprise Data Center Solution provided in this document.

Core Layer

Router:

Junos Fusion Data Center Switching Topology

Aggregation Devices:

  • 2 QFX10002-72Q switches

    Note

    A QFX10002-72Q switch has 72 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces.

    An Enterprise Data Center network that requires fewer 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces could configure this reference architecture using two QFX10002-36Q switches, which support up to 36 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces, in place of the QFX10002-72Q switches. The QFX10002-36Q switches can also be deployed in environments that support a large number of 10-Gbps SFP+ interfaces, since one 40-Gbps interface on a QFX10002 switch can be converted into four 10-Gbps SFP+ interfaces using a breakout cable.

Satellite Devices:

Now that we have completed our overview of the Enterprise Data Center solution, it is time to view the configuration and verification sections of the solution.