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Juniper QFX5100 Series by Douglas Richard Hanks Jr.

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Chapter 2. Control Plane Virtualization

The key factors driving the Juniper QFX5100 are the advent of virtualization and cloud computing; however, there are many facets to virtualization. One is decoupling the service from the physical hardware. When this is combined with orchestration and automation, the service is now said to be agile: it has the ability to be quickly provisioned, even within seconds. Another aspect is scale in the number of instances of the service. Because it becomes so easy to provision a service, the total number of instances quickly increases.

Compute virtualization is such a simple concept, yet it yields massive benefit to both the end user and operator. The next logical step is to apply the benefits of compute virtualization to the control plane of the network. After all, the control board is nothing but an x86 processor, memory, and storage.

The immediate benefit of virtualizing the control board might not be so obvious. Generally, operators like to toy around and create a virtual machine (VM) running Linux so that they’re able to execute operational scripts and troubleshoot. However, there is a much more exciting use case to virtualization of the control board. Traditionally, only networking equipment that was chassis-based was able to support two routing engines. The benefit of two routing engines is that it increases the high availability of the chassis and allows the operator to upgrade the control plane software in real time without traffic loss. ...

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