Juniper QFX vs EX Series Switches

Juniper QFX vs EX Series Switches

All Juniper switches fall within one of two series: the Juniper QFX and the Juniper EX series. Both series are made up of several different models with various port configurations and supported Ethernet speeds, but there are also some key differences between the two series.

In order to help you determine whether you should buy Juniper EX or QFX Series switches, we’ve done an in-depth comparison analyzing all the major specifications you’ll need to consider. Keep reading to learn how the two series are similar, as well as how they are different.

Juniper QFX Series Switches and Specifications

The Juniper QFX Series is comprised of eight switches ranging from 1 rack unit (RU) to 21 RUs in size, and they all support various Ethernet speeds, including 1G, 10G, 40G and 100G.

The eight Juniper QFX switches are as follows:

Aside from the entry-level Juniper QFX5100, all QFX Series switches support up to 100G Ethernet. And with the exception of the QFX10000 switches, all the QFX Series switches are designed with a fixed configuration. The QFX10000 switches are modular chassis.

Although not listed above, we also stock end-of-life Juniper QFX3500 switches.

Juniper EX Series Switches and Specifications

There are more than a dozen Juniper EX switches, ranging from only 1 RU up to 16 RUs in size. The EX Series also provides plenty of options, including 1G Ethernet switches and higher density 100G Ethernet switches.

The EX Series switches are as follows:

Most Juniper EX switches are designed as fixed-configuration devices, but there are two switches, the EX9200 and the EX9250, that have modular chassis options.

The lower-tier — access-level — switches, such as the EX2200, the EX4200 and the EX4300, are made primarily for 1G Ethernet applications. The mid-tier — aggregation-level — switches, such as the EX4550, are made primarily for 10G Ethernet environments.

The highest performing — core — switches, including the EX9200 and the EX9250, are designed specifically for networking environments that require high-density 100G Ethernet.

Key Similarities and Differences Between Juniper EX and QFX Series Switches

Both the EX Series and the QFX Series offer flexible solutions. The modular chassis within each series are made with line card slots that can be customized with a wide variety of line cards and MIC’s, and the fixed-configuration switches can be customized with expansion modules.

In addition, both series have the virtual chassis feature, which allows you to link together several standalone devices so they can be managed as a single switch chassis. Note, however, that only some QFX and EX Series switches support this feature.

The main difference between the two series has to do with the supported network architecture.

Each QFX Series switch falls under one of two categories: spine and leaf, whereas EX Series switches are divided into three categories: access, aggregate and core.

These different classifications identify how each switch fits into their respective network architectures. The QFX Series is designed for a spine and leaf architecture and EX Series switches are designed specifically for a three tier network architecture.

In the three-tier architecture, Juniper considers the top level, or the highest performing level, the core level. The middle level is comprised of aggregation, or distribution, switches and the bottom level is made up of access switches, which is where individual users connect to the network.

Historically, the three tier architecture has been the more common network setup. But in recent years, the spine and leaf architecture has grown in popularity. In a spine and leaf setup, every device is either a spine, a top-level device, or a leaf, a bottom-level device.

Although a spine and leaf architecture is typically less cost-effective, it essentially cuts out the distribution layer, therefore reducing the total number of devices required for the network.

Our Rigorous Testing Process and 1-Year Warranty Add Significant Value to All Our EX and QFX Series Switches

At BrightStar Systems, our number one priority is supplying our customers with high-quality used Juniper QFX Series and EX Series switches at great prices.

Whether you’re looking to buy pre-owned EX or QFX series switches for a small- or large-scale enterprise, or you’re a service provider and require equipment for a data center, we can supply all the used Juniper equipment you need, including routers and optics and cables.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with buying pre-owned network hardware, or it’s been a while since you’ve had to expand your network with more hardware, you may want to read our in-depth guide on how to buy used network equipment.

All our pre-owned Juniper hardware undergoes a thorough testing procedure as well, so you never have to worry about receiving a dysfunctional device. On top of that, we guarantee all our equipment for the first year with our BrightStar Systems’ 1-Year, In-house Warranty.

We buy pre-owned Juniper switches as well. So if you have underutilized equipment sitting on shelves or you’re planning to upgrade your hardware, the best thing you can with your existing equipment is sell it to us and turn it into capital.

Please contact us today if you have questions related to buying or selling used Juniper EX and QFX series switches. Our knowledgeable support team can answer any questions you have.