[j-nsp] EX4550 and MX104

Richard McGovern rmcgovern at juniper.net
Tue Jul 17 22:50:13 EDT 2018

From: Pavel Lunin <plunin at gmail.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 6:17 PM
To: Richard McGovern <rmcgovern at juniper.net>
Cc: juniper-nsp <juniper-nsp at puck.nether.net>
Subject: Re: [j-nsp] EX4550 and MX104

#1 – I do not make the news, I only report it.  #2, it is impossible to keep everyone happy all of the time.  I have learned that over almost 40 years in networking, . . .  As well the really important stuff comes after the sale, not before.

Richard McGovern <rmcgovern at juniper.net<mailto:rmcgovern at juniper.net>>:
Felt need to jump in here, and hopefully get some of the real facts straight.  Prior to ELS CLI Juniper had basically 2 different CLI’s – one for EX Products and branch SRX one for MX and a like.  M/MX CLI came first and used the terminology IRB and Bridge Domains.  These products were designed for primarily L3, and L2 was added later.  I think this started in like mid-1990s.

I am not sure that the MX logic is from the 1990s. It should be first released with the MX in... was it 2006 or 2007? While the first EX came around in 2008. Not that big gap between the two.

ð  First came M before MX in mid-90s, I believe.

For both it was the era when the term "VLAN" was already widely used. And in fact the MX model is good, despite it doesn't use this common term.

The word "VLAN" often leads to misunderstanding, as it might mean both, a 802.1Q interface tag and a broadcast domain, while there is absolutely no reason to have the a common semantics for these two things. So the MX logic seems to be intentionally designed as such. Much like SROS "VPLS" thing. For the SP world it's just OK.

However, EX is an enterprise switch, at least it was originally targeting the campus market, where folks want something simple and more or less cisco-like.

So, I think (I know, in fact), the real reason behind the two cli models was the strong internal SP/enterprise division inside Juniper. It was just different people who designed MX and EX.

=>Agreed, and fortunately all those people are now gone within Juniper.

Now fast forward to 2013.  Juniper had some decisions to be made with regards to future platforms and strategic direction.  Be it good or bad, Juniper decided on 2 approaches.  1 a common CLI for all future products (and therefore some new ‘name’), and to move away from Marvell and onto Broadcom as a strategic 3rd party chip vendor.  This was especially for price competitive products, like L2 (and TOR) switches.  The new [ELS] CLI was/is based more on MX, than older original EX for a variety of reasons, be they now good or bad.  This is the reason that the new Broadcom based switches have a different [ELS based] CLI that the original EX switches.  So, the original EX CLI and newer ELS based CLI are 100% based upon hardware platform in use, and not SW release, and do not BREAK anything from working.

So yes, Juniper still has two models: ELS is "based more on MX" but it's not really MX-like. Three in fact, Marvel-based EX are not EoL.

While you are right about the fact that a given EX box supports either one model or another and not both, this change has nothing to do with the Marvel to Broadcom migration. It's purely software and, as you said, there are some EoL boxes which have seen both. It rather looks like Juniper said to themselves that they lost the enterprise market anyway, and for the DC MX-like model should be a bit better.

ð  I repeat.  Agreed, and fortunately all those people are now gone within Juniper.


However the problem is that the folks who design and sell boxes have no idea what people use them for. <torvalds-mode polite="on"> When you have 200 or 2000 EX4550/EX4200 in production (together with a lot of other gear) and at some point your Juniper SE tells you "Hey, buy rather EX4600/EX4300 instead, it's the never version, EX4550 will be EoL in some time", you expect to have some level of consistency between the two. OK, it's understandable that a FRS software can't support all the features of a 10-years old box but having to change vlan.X to irb.X just because MX uses irb, is a bit too much. What is MX? Haven't I bought EX? Why do I need to know the whole story of Juniper Networks to put a damn Ethernet switch in production? And the on-call NOC guys at 2 am care even less about strategic decisions, which Juniper has made.</torvalds-mode>

> One difference is Juniper now has one solid CLI moving forward.

Hey, it's not 2004 out there! EX9200 is like an MX but not quite when it comes to the switching CLI. SRX5k is also like an MX but also not quite... but in a different way. SRX branch? Old ones or new ones? One solid CLI? Come on!


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