Case Study

Expanding Michigan’s renowned education and research network.

Merit upgrades and extends its prominent regional network to several Michigan school districts, public universities, government agencies, and other nonprofits.

“Juniper is able to handle all of our routing, switching, and capacity requirements. The infrastructure lets us segregate traffic as needed and optimize performance to all our members, our ISPs, and data hubs. Juniper is the right size and the right fit for Merit.”

Bob Stovall, vice president of network operations and engineering, Merit


Merit owns and operates the longest-running regional research and education network in the United States. Its recently expanded and upgraded network provides more than 300 organizations with secure, high-speed access to research, state, and national collaborative initiatives.

Business Challenge

Merit needed to connect rural users and K-12 school districts throughout Michigan while supporting new virtual training applications for security, military, and law enforcement personnel. The regional network operator discovered it needed more powerful networking gear with technically advanced features.

Technology Solution

MX480 routers and EX Series switches deliver network services to remote communities. QFX Series data center switches support hosted email and other cloud services. EX4500 and EX4600 switches support 10GbE connections in the campus and data center, and Merit manages multiple EX Series switches as a single device using Juniper’s Virtual Chassis technology.

Business Results

A statewide optical network now supports K-12 connectivity, online testing, and student assessments, as well as cybersecurity education and training applications. It extends to rural areas across Michigan, connecting more than 200 community institutions to advanced network services.

“Juniper helped us reach a big list of firsts. It’s the first time in history that Michigan will have a fully optical statewide infrastructure to support a K–20 network and the first time we have virtual cybersecurity training options.”

Elwood Downing, vice president of membership outreach and engagement, Merit

How we put it together

Flagship edge routing platform for enterprise and service provider applications with unparalleled bandwidth, subscriber, and service scale.

High-performance, low-latency data center and cloud switches that can be deployed in a variety of network fabrics or architectures to provide maximum flexibility.

Highly available, powerful Ethernet switches for converged enterprise branch offices, campuses, and data centers, as well as for service provider deployments. They address escalating demands for high availability, unified communications, mobility, and virtualization within enterprise networks.