This new book is a little shorter than my previous books on the Juniper MX and Juniper QFX5100. That’s because I want to focus on what’s new instead of just writing about the same things in a different way. This book will focus mainly on a few key new technologies: hardware and software architecture of the Juniper QFX510000 and Ethernet VPN (EVPN).

For a while, Juniper had a product gap in its switching portfolio: a high-density, feature-rich data center switch. The Juniper QFX10000 family of switches fills this gap in spades. It has been the most anticipated switch in the company’s history. Juniper spared no expense when designing this new device. As of this writing, it comes packed to the brim with features, including full Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), insane logical scale, and the most 40GbE and 100GbE ports.

The Juniper QFX10000 switch was designed from the ground up to solve some serious problems. Obviously it’s a spine switch, but you’re also able to use it in many different use cases across several different verticals. Here are some examples:

  • Service provider

    • High-scale Ethernet/IP spine switch

    • Segment routing core switch

  • Internet exchange

    • Core or edge/access switch

  • Public/private cloud

    • High-scale Clos Fabric or spine switch

  • Enterprise

    • Junos Fusion aggregate device

    • Standard Ethernet/IP spine switch

    • Collapsed spine switch and edge router

The Juniper QFX10000 also takes virtualization to heart: under the hood, it uses Linux and KVM to virtualize the network operating system (Junos) to reap all the benefits of virtualization, such as snapshots and In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU).

This book is going to show you, step by step, how to build a better network by using the Juniper QFX10000 Series—it’s such a versatile platform that you can place it in the fabric, spine, or edge of any type of network and provide instant value. The Juniper QFX10000 was designed to be a network virtualization beast. You can choose between six different networking technologies and support overlay networking directly in hardware with no performance loss.

No Apologies

I’m an avid reader of technology books, and I always get a bit giddy when a new book is released because I can’t wait to read it and learn more about a specific technology. However, one trend I have noticed is that every networking book tends to regurgitate the basics over and over. There are only so many times you can force yourself to read about spanning tree, the split-horizon rule, or OSPF LSA types. One of the goals of this book is to introduce new and fresh content that hasn’t been published before.

I made a conscious decision to keep the technical quality of this book very high; this created a constant debate as to whether to include primer or introductory material in the book to help refresh a reader’s memory with certain technologies and networking features. In short, here’s what I decided:

Spanning tree and switching
Spanning tree and switching is covered in great detail in every JNCIA and CCNA book on the market. If you want to learn more about spanning tree or switching, check out Junos Enterprise Switching (O’Reilly, 2009), or CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition (Cisco Press, 2007).
Routing protocols
There are various routing protocols such as OSPF and IS-IS used throughout this book in case studies. No introductory chapters are included for IS-IS or OSPF, and it’s assumed that you are already familiar with these protocols. If not, you can learn more by checking out Junos Enterprise Routing, Second Edition (O’Reilly, 2011) or Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert Study Guide by Juniper Networks.
Multichassis Link Aggregation (MC-LAG)
Ah, MC-LAG, we meet again. If you want to learn more about MC-LAG, read Juniper QFX5100 (O’Reilly, 2014) or Juniper MX Series, Second Edition (O’Reilly, 2016).
Quality of Service
Classifiers, schedulers, and drop profiles. Oh my! Read Juniper MX Series, Second Edition.
IP fabrics
Read Juniper QFX5100. There’s plenty of stuff in there.

After many hours of debate, I decided that I should defer to other books when it comes to introductory material and keep the content of this book at an expert level. I expect that you already have your JNCIE or CCIE (or you’re well on your way) and will enjoy the technical quality of this book. If you’re just getting started out, I want to share a list of existing books that are widely respected within the networking community that you might find more helpful:

  • Juniper MX Series, Second Edition (O’Reilly)—the best book out of the bunch, no bias right?

  • Juniper QFX5100 Series (O’Reilly)

  • Junos Enterprise Routing, Second Edition (O’Reilly)

  • Junos Enterprise Switching (O’Reilly)

  • QoS-Enabled Networks (Wiley & Sons)

  • MPLS-Enabled Applications, Third Edition (Wiley & Sons)

  • Network Mergers and Migrations (Wiley)

  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (Juniper Networks)

  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Professional (Juniper Networks)

  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist (Juniper Networks)

  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (Juniper Networks)

  • CCIE Routing and Switching, Fourth Edition (Cisco Press)

  • Routing TCP/IP, volumes 1 and 2 (Cisco Press)

  • OSPF and IS-IS (Addison-Wesley)

  • OSPF: Anatomy of an Internet Routing Protocol (Addison-Wesley)

  • The Art of Computer Programming (Addison-Wesley)

  • TCP/IP Illustrated, volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Addison-Wesley)

  • UNIX Network Programming, volumes 1 and 2 (Prentice Hall PTR)

  • Network Algorithmics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Designing Fast Networked Devices (Morgan Kaufmann)

What’s in This Book?

This book was written for network engineers, by network engineers. The ultimate goal of this book is to share with the reader the logical underpinnings of the Juniper QFX10000. Each chapter represents a specific vertical within the Juniper QFX10000 and will provide enough depth and knowledge to provide you with the confidence to implement and design new architectures for your network using the Juniper QFX10000 series.

Here’s a short summary of the chapters and what you’ll find inside:

Chapter 1, Juniper QFX10000 Hardware Architecture
Learn all about the new Juniper silicon that powers all of the Juniper QFX10000 switches. This includes all of the fixed switches and modular chassis and line cards.
Chapter 2, QFX10000 Software Architecture
A lot has changed since vanilla Junos. Everything is virtualized and uses these newfangled DevOps tools.
Chapter 3, Next-Generation Internet Exchange Architecture Case Study
I took a hard right turn and went off the beaten path in this chapter. Learn about how to take a particular use case and break down the requirements into simple building blocks. Learn how to apply the requirements against a set of technologies to make the best architecture decisions. I then break down the architecture into engineering and design trade-offs that are critical to implementing a solid production network.
Chapter 4, Performance and Scale
All of these features are great, but you need to know the performance and scaling attributes. No problem. Let’s take a deep-dive into the control plane and data plane and explore both the physical and logical performance and scaling abilities of the Juniper QFX10000. You’re going to love what you see.
Chapter 5, Junos Fusion
Heeeelp. I need the Easy Button. Learn how to build an Ethernet fabric based on IEEE 802.1BR using the Juniper QFX10000 and QFX5000 Series. Everything is plug and play with a single point of management. No need to worry about routing protocols and other things within the data center.
Chapter 6, Ethernet VPN
EVPN is the latest and greatest thing. Think L3VPN, but for Layer 2. There are a lot of ins and outs with this new protocol. I break it down bit by bit and explain how each function works and compare the various options so that you can see the engineering trade-offs. We’ll close the chapter out with a nice case study.

Each chapter includes a set of review questions based on the topics that are covered in the respective chapter, all designed to get you thinking about what you’ve just read and digested. If you’re not in the certification mode, the questions will provide a mechanism for critical thinking, potentially prompting you to locate other resources to further your knowledge.


As with most deep-dive books, you will be exposed to a variety of hidden, Junos Shell, and even MPC-level VTY commands performed after forming an internal connection to a PFE component. And as always, the standard disclaimers apply.

In general, a command being hidden indicates that the feature is not officially supported in that release. Such commands should only be used in production networks after consultation with Juniper Networks Technical Assistance Center (JTAC). Likewise, the shell is not officially supported or documented. The commands available can change, and you can render a router unbootable with careless use of a shell commands. The same holds true for PFE component–level shell commands, often called VTY commands.

The hidden and shell commands that are used in this book were selected because they were the only way to illustrate certain operational characteristics or the results of complex configuration parameters.

Again, hidden and shell commands should be used only under JTAC guidance; this is especially true when dealing with a router that is part of a production network.

You have been duly warned.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Indicates new terms, URLs, email addresses, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, directories, and Unix utilities
Constant width
Indicates commands, options, switches, variables, attributes, keys, functions, types, classes, namespaces, methods, modules, properties, parameters, values, objects, events, event handlers, XML tags, HTML tags, macros, the contents of files, and the output from commands
Constant width bold
Shows commands and other text that should be typed literally by the user, as well as important lines of code
Constant width italic
Shows text that should be replaced with user-supplied values

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