Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR) today officially announced the availability of their EX8216 switch.
This is no small switch (click the thumbnail at the left side of this post to see it). It’s a 16 slot tower, that can deliver up to 12.4 terabits. That’s a lot of capacity and it’s geared toward cloud computing deployments that demand high bandwidth and availability.
From a competitive point of view, it looks to me like this is an attempt to line up against Cisco’s Nexus 7000 core switching platform, which can deliver up to 15 terabits of switching capacity.
Considering that Juniper just entered the switch market itself in January of 2008, it’s no small feat to have a such a dense switching platform at this point.
The EX series overall is a key element of Juniper’s continued growth. During Juniper’s recent Q1 2009 investor conference call, CEO Kevin Johnson noted that enterprise sales were growing at a faster rate than carrier sales — with the EX switch growth being a key component. During the call, Johnson claimed that over 50 percent of EX customers also bought Juniper routing and security gear as well.
With this new flagship switch in the market, it will be interesting to see how it will impact Juniper financial results moving forward. It will be also interesting to see if Juniper tries to more deeply integrate the EX series with an application serving platform, similar to how Cisco integrates its Nexus with the Cisco Unified Computing System blade server.
The other interesting business element to watch will be how the EX 8216 is embraced by IBM, which is a key partner for Juniper’s switch business and overall cloud initiatives. Interesting times for big iron in the networking world.