Juniper Ethernet Switches Review

Easy to manage and provides a reliable core for our public-facing infrastructure

What is our primary use case?

We are using multiple EX4200 Virtual Chassis Stacks in an on-premises deployment.

The way we have it configured is that it is our core switch model that holds up our entire infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is reliability.

The ease of management through the command line interface is very good.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to have a more available list of modules that you can get for this solution. One of the hardest things that I've found when I go looking for modules on those switches is actually finding a thorough list of them.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for between five and six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is rock solid. The only time we've had an issue is when one of the redundant power supplies shorted out. I don't think that this was the fault of the solution. Rather, I think it was due to a failed power line, perhaps a spike in power.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is extremely scalable. We had to add a new line module and we were able to do it while it was hot, so we didn't have any downtime.

This solution makes up the core of our network, so everybody in the company relies on it. We're predominately web-facing, so it supports our public-facing infrastructure. It is difficult to estimate the number of users that it supports.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been in touch with Professional Services. They are excellent, and they're always on time.

The responses are timely and they're very knowledgeable. If they're unsure then they will quickly consult other team members. The engineers that are dealing with it won't just sit there and try to figure it out themselves. They'll engage other members in their environment as quickly as they can. They get the issue resolved, so it's great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a solution from Cisco previously, but we were having issues with those, which is one of the reasons that we switched to Juniper. From what I can remember, the Cisco solution was not able to get the throughput that we required. Also, we required the ability to do hot swap-overs of the devices.

One of the main things with Cisco is that any of the changes that you made were instant, whereas, with Juniper, we can actually stage the changes before we apply them. Also, for the Cisco product, it was a really, really expensive product range. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward.

The deployment took one day at each of two different sites.

What about the implementation team?

I was on-site for the deployments, but we had a consultant come in and do it for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The maintenance cost is approximately €2,000 ($2,200 USD) per year, including support, for our entire fleet.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options including some by Cisco and HP. 

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking at this solution from an ethernet switching point of view, we don't use any of the in-depth features. We selected this solution for its reliability and ease of management on the command line.

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to plan it out in advance. Other than that, they're relatively straightforward. There are no major issues or items that I could call out as a problem. It's just a case of making sure that you plan our your deployment before you start.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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