Juniper QFX5100: Fast, Flexible, and Secure

- Posted by Author: admin in Category: Network Switches |

The Juniper QFX5100 series offers the performance, scale, and flexibility to meet the demand for today’s bandwidth-hungry networks. By providing an exceptional level of throughput, the QFX5100 series is ideal for organizations that require high levels of security with minimal latency. In addition, its comprehensive range of features makes it a great choice for companies looking to manage their evolving networking needs. This blog post will take a look at the key features of the Juniper QFX5100 series, exploring how this impressive hardware can help businesses stay ahead in today’s competitive market. Read on to learn more about why the Juniper QFX5100 series is fast, flexible, and secure!

What is the Juniper QFX5100?

The highly flexible, high-performance Juniper Networks QFX5100 line of Ethernet switches provides the foundation for today’s and tomorrow’s dynamic data center. As a critical enabler for IT transformation, the data center network supports cloud and software-defined networking (SDN) adoption, as well as rapid deployment and delivery of applications. Mission-critical applications, network virtualization, and integrated or scale-out storage are driving the need for more adaptable networks.

With its diverse set of deployment options, including fabric, Layer 3, and spine and leaf, the QFX5100 is the universal building block for data center switching architectures, enabling users to easily adapt as requirements change over time. The QFX5100 line includes 10GbE (fiber and copper) and 40GbE fixed-configuration options with rich Layer 2, Layer 3, and MPLS features.

The QFX5100 runs the same reliable, high-performance Juniper Networks Junos operating system that is used by Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches, Juniper Networks routers, and Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways, ensuring a consistent implementation and operation of control plane features across the entire Juniper infrastructure. Featuring a built-in Insight Technology capability, the QFX5100 provides valuable performance and troubleshooting data via microburst monitoring and hotspot statistics. The QFX5100 can also be used in Juniper’s Virtual Chassis switching architecture.

QFX5100 Highlights

• High-density configurations—72 ports of 10GbE in a 1 U platform; 96 ports of 10GbE in a 2 U platform; and 32 ports of 40GbE in a 1 U platform
• Up to 2.56 Tbps Layer 2 and Layer 3 performance and as low as 550 ns latency1
• 1.5 GHz dual-core Intel CPU with 8 GB memory and 32 GB SSD storage
• High availability with the industry’s only Topology-Independent In-Service Software Upgrade (TISSU)
• Rich automation capabilities with support for Python, Chef, Puppet, and zero-touch provisioning (ZTP)
• Designed in Insight Technology software capability for microburst monitoring and reporting, as well as hotspot statistics and visibility
• Plug-and-play deployable architectures such as Virtual Chassis and Layer 3 fabrics with simplified management and operation
• Support for virtualization protocols such as Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN), Open vSwitch Database (OVSDB) protocol, and integration with VMware NSX SDN controllers

The Different Types of Juniper QFX5100

The QFX5100 line includes four compact 1 U models and one 2 U model, each providing wire-speed packet performance, very low latency, and a rich set of Junos OS features. In addition to a high throughput Packet Forwarding Engine (PFE), the performance of the control plane running on all QFX5100 models is further enhanced with a powerful 1.5 GHz dual-core Intel CPU with 8 GB of memory and 32 GB SSD storage.

QFX5100-48S: Compact 1 U 10GbE data center access switch with 48 small form-factor pluggable and pluggable plus (SFP/SFP+) transceiver ports and six quad SFP+ (QSFP+) ports with an aggregate throughput of 1.44 Tbps or  1.08 Bpps per switch.

QFX5100-48T: Compact 1 U 10GbE data center access switch with 48 tri-speed (10GbE/1GbE/100 Mbps) RJ-45 ports and six QSFP+ ports with an aggregate throughput of 1.44 Tbps or 1.08 Bpps per switch.

QFX5100-24Q: Compact 1 U high-density 40GbE data center access and aggregation switch starting at a base density of 24 QSFP+ ports with the option to scale to 32 QSFP+ ports with two four-port expansion modules. All 32 ports support wire-speed performance with an aggregate throughput of 2.56 Tbps or 1.44 Bpps per switch.

QFX5100-24Q-AA: Compact 1U high-density data center switch starting with a base density of 24 QSFP+ ports. With the addition of an optional double-wide QFX-PFA-4Q Packet Flow Accelerator (PFA) expansion module, the switch can morph into an intelligent application acceleration system. Alternatively, by installing two four-port 40GbE expansion modules, the QFX5100-24Q-AA can expand to support 32 QSFP+ ports. The switch’s CPU subsystem is enhanced with a quad-core Intel CPU with 32 GB of DRAM; additional storage capacity is provided via an onboard 128 GB solid-state drive. The QFX-PFA-4Q features an Altera Stratix V 320 Gbps FPGA with 24 GB SDRAM (DDR3) for packet memory and 72 MB of quad data-rate static RAM (SRAM) (QDR2+) for low-latency processing. 

QFX5100-96S: Compact 2 U high-density 10GbE aggregation switch with 96 SFP+/SFP and eight QSFP+ ports with an aggregate throughput of 2.56 Tbps or 1.44 Bpps per switch. For added flexibility, the 40GbE ports on all QFX5100 switches can be used as 4x10GbE ports using QSFP+ to SFP+ direct attach copper (DAC) or QSFP+ to SFP+ fiber splitter cables and optics. With splitter cables, the QFX5100-48S supports up to 72 10GbE ports, while the QFX5100-24Q and QFX5100-96S support up to 104 10GbE ports.

What are the features of the Juniper QFX5100?

Topology-Independent In-Service Software Upgrade (TISSU): With its Intel core processor, the QFX5100 allows Junos OS to run within a virtual machine (VM) on Linux. Junos OS runs in two separate VMs in active and standby pairs; during software upgrade cycles, the switches seamlessly move to the newer software version while maintaining intact data plane traffic. This true TopologyIndependent ISSU, an industry-first software upgrade feature for a fixed-configuration top-of-rack switch, is supported across all Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols and doesn’t need the support of any other switches to perform an image upgrade.

Automation: The QFX5100 switches support a number of features for network automation and plug-and-play operations. Features include zero-touch provisioning, operations and event scripts, automatic rollback, and Python scripting. The switch also offers support for integration with VMware NSX Layer 2 Gateway Services, Puppet, and OpenStack.

Flexible Forwarding Table: The QFX5100’s Flexible Forwarding Table (FFT) allows the hardware table to be carved into configurable partitions of Layer 2 media access control (MAC), Layer 3 host, and Longest Prefix Match (LPM) tables. In a pure L2 environment, the QFX5100 supports 288,000 MAC addresses. In L3 mode, the table can support 128,000 host entries, and in LPM mode, it can support 128,000 prefixes. Junos OS provides configurable options through a command-line interface (CLI) so that each QFX5100 can be optimized for different deployment scenarios.

Intelligent Buffer Management: The QFX5100 switches have a total of 12 MB shared buffers. While 25% of the total buffer space is dedicated, the rest is shared among all ports and is user
configurable. The intelligent buffer mechanism in the QFX5100 effectively absorbs traffic bursts while providing deterministic performance, significantly increasing performance over static allocation.

Insight Technology for Analytics: The QFX5100 provides dynamic buffer utilization monitoring and reporting with an interval of 10 milliseconds to provide microburst and latency insight. The data can be viewed via CLI, system log, or streamed to external servers for more analysis. Supported reporting formats include Java Script Object Notification (JSON), CSV, and TSV. These files can be consumed by orchestration systems, SDN controllers, or network management applications to make better network design decisions and identify network hotspots.


The Juniper QFX5100 is a great choice for enterprises looking to add reliability and performance to their networks. This switch provides an impressive amount of features, including flexibility, scalability, ease of use, and advanced security controls. With its fast speeds and robust security capabilities, the Juniper QFX5100 is an ideal solution for any organization that needs powerful network infrastructure. If you’re looking for high-performance switching solutions with minimal disruption to your existing infrastructure, the Juniper QFX5100 could be just what you need.