[j-nsp] EX 8200 deployment

Richard A Steenbergen ras at e-gerbil.net
Sat Mar 20 19:51:52 EDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 05:31:36PM -0400, Chris Evans wrote:
> Richard,
> I agree with you with the EX platform.. It's really buggy. I
> personally think that Juniper is moving too slow bringing new features
> and bug fixes to the platform.. We're deploying the new Cisco Nexus
> platforms in our data centers at this point. Cisco is moving at light
> speed with these platforms, while Juniper is crawling to bring their
> aging boxes into the lime light left by the Cisco Cat6500 days.

Nexus 7000 is not a bad platform, and definitely deserves consideration 
for the same kind of role. Obviously each has its own specific 
advantages and disadvantages, but at a high level Nexus 7k an EX8200 are 
*VERY* comperable in both price and features (and even their roadmaps 
look a lot alike). Yes n7k is probably a little more mature and stable 
than EX at the moment, but there is a lot to be said for the benefits of 
working with JUNOS too. An importand consideration is not only how well 
it works today, but how well it will work in the future, and like I said 
JUNOS earns the EX a LOT of leeway (to a point :P).

> On another note. I know you're upset about the limit on the routing
> that the EX series can do, but a better question is why are you using
> this box for that high end routing solution? In my opinion, the EX's
> 8200's are a switch built for the data center, they shouldn't require
> much more than a default route and/or a few hundred routes to your
> core.

Clearly we have different definitions of a datacenter role. Let me be 
clear, EX is absolutely *NOT* a replacement for the very capable and 
mature MX platform, nor does it try to be. MX does things like MPLS, 
VPLS, large (2mil+) FIBs, large memory (4GB) for multiple RIBs, it 
supports complex vlan tag manipulation that EX will never do, it has 
unique vlan IDs per interface not shared across the box, it has large 
packet buffers, support for SONET cards, XFP support for working with 
long reach optics in a carrier ethernet role, much more robust firewall 
features, services card support, and a host of other things that EX will 
never do.

That said, EX has a role for simpler work in the datacenter where the
full functionality of an MX is simply not worth the extra money and the
features aren't necessary. EX is also (or at least is intended to be) a
competitor of datacenter boxes like 6500 and Nexus 7000, both of which
support a full routing table and multiple paths via BGP. Your datacenter
may not make use of a full BGP routing table, but mine does, and clearly
a lot of other people's do too or Cisco wouldn't be making full-table
6500s or Nexus 7000s.

Also, my use of routing on the EX was well within the intended support
of the platform, it was simply a mistake in the code that caused it to 
fail at much lower levels than they intended. My real gripe was that the 
failure should have been perfectly obvious to them, and yet it wasn't. I 
know for a fact that Juniper employs many very smart and capable people 
who would have known better, it's just that the EX guys didn't consult 
them. :)

Richard A Steenbergen <ras at e-gerbil.net>       http://www.e-gerbil.net/ras
GPG Key ID: 0xF8B12CBC (7535 7F59 8204 ED1F CC1C 53AF 4C41 5ECA F8B1 2CBC)

More information about the juniper-nsp mailing list