Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X Switches

Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X Switches

Two of the most common switches used in data centers and by large-scale enterprises are the Juniper QFX5100 and the Arista 7050X models. While these two series have a lot in common, it’s also important to evaluate the differences between  Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X switches.

In this Arista 7050X vs Juniper QFX5100 comparison, we explain what the differences are — e.g. expansion modules, end-of-life availability and the number of available models and we look at the ways they’re similar — i.e. the rack units (RU), the port density and the supported Ethernet speeds.

Juniper QFX5100 Series Overview

An Arista QFX5100-48T-AFI Ethernet switch.

The Juniper QFX5100 Series is made up of five switches, all of which offer flexibility for larger networks that need high-quality equipment. These used Juniper switches support Ethernet speeds ranging from 100Mbps to 40G, and some even support upgrade modules as well.

Here are the five Juniper QFX5100 switch models and their specifications:

  • Juniper QFX5100-48S: 1 RU in size with 6 QSFP+ ports, as well as 48 SFP and SFP+ ports
  • Juniper QFX5100-48T: 1 RU in size with 48 RJ45 ports and 6 QSFP+
  • Juniper QFX5100-24Q: 1 RU in size with 24 QSFP+ ports
  • Juniper QFX5100-24Q-AA: 1 RU in size with 24 QSFP+ ports
  • Juniper QFX5100-96S: 2 RU in size with 8 QSFP+ ports, as well as 96 SFP and SFP+ ports

As can be seen from the wide range of configurations supported on QFX5100 devices, these are incredibly flexible devices. All used QFX5100 devices support QSFP+, SFP+, SFP and RJ45 ports.

Overview of Arista 7050X Devices

An Arista 7050TX-64-R Ethernet switch.

Arista 7050X switches provide the perfect solution for high-density networking environments — particularly environments that rely heavily on 10G and 40G Ethernet speeds.

The Arista 7050 Series is actually made up of two series: the Arista 7050X and the 7050X2. And those two series are broken up into three different categories (each with a few available models:):

  • Arista 7050SX
  • Arista 7050TX
  • Arista 7050QX

The Arista 7050X lineup includes 1 RU and 2 RU models that support RJ45, SFP+ and QSFP+ ports. The biggest difference is that the 2 RU models have nearly double the number of ports as the other options.

Arista 7050SX Devices

There are five Arista 7050SX models, available in sizes of 1 RU and 2 RU, which support overall greater port density. All five support a combination of SFP+ and QSFP+ ports.

Below are the specifications for all five Arista 7050SX switches:

  • Arista 7050SX-64 – 1 RU in size with 48 SFP+ ports and four QSFP+ ports
  • Arista 7050SX-72Q – 1 RU in size with 48 SFP+ ports and six QSFP+ ports
  • Arista 7050SX2-72Q – 1 RU in size with 48 SFP+ ports and six QSFP+ ports
  • Arista 7050SX-128 – 2 RU in size with 96 SFP+ ports and eight QSFP+ ports
  • Arista 7050SX2-128 – 2 RU in size with 96 SFP+ ports and eight QSFP+ ports

All five of these devices are ideal for high-density 10G and 40G Ethernet environments.

Arista 7050TX Devices

All Arista 7050TX switches, other than the 7050TX2-128, are 1 RU in size. Each of these Arista switches also include RJ45 ports that support up to 10G Ethernet. Each also has several QSFP+ ports.

The specifications for the Arista 7050TX Series devices are as follows:

  • Arista 7050TX-48 – 1 RU in size with 4 QSFP+ and 32 RJ45 ports
  • Arista 7050TX-64 – 1 RU in size with 4 QSFP+ and 48 RJ45 ports
  • Arista 7050TX-72Q – 1 RU in size with 6 QSFP+ and 48 RJ45 ports
  • Arista 7050TX2-128 – 2 RU in size with 8 QSFP+ and 96 RJ45 ports

The Arista 7050TX line of switches is also ideal for 10G and 40G applications.

Arista 7050QX Devices

There aren’t as many Arista 7050QX switches to choose from. In fact, there are only two, and both have extremely similar specifications. Below are the specs for the two Arista 7050QX devices:

  • Arista 7050QX-32S – 1 RU with 32 QSFP+ and 4 SFP+ ports
  • Arista 7050QX2-32S – 1 RU with 32 QSFP+ and 4 SFP+ ports

The only difference between these two switches is that the Arista 7050QX2-32S, which is an updated version of the Arista 7050QX-32S, is more energy efficient — i.e. it uses less power to operate. So if you’re looking to cut costs on your electricity bills, the Arista 7050QX2-32S is the better option.

Differences Between Arista 7050X vs Juniper QFX5100

When doing a head-to-head comparison of Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X switches, it’s clear the biggest differences between the two are support for expansion modules, the number of available models and end-of-life availability. Only Juniper devices support expansion modules, but Arista’s 7050X lineup offers significantly more models to choose and its iterative design makes buying end-of-life an option.

Below, we break down the three key differences between Arista 7050X vs Juniper QFX5100 switches.

Expansion Modules (for Flexibility)

One of the biggest differences between Juniper vs Arista switches is the ability to upgrade them. If you’re looking for devices you can upgrade, Juniper is the way to go. Both the Juniper QFX5100-24Q and the QFX5100-24Q-AA support expansion modules, and each model has two expansion module slots.

Both those models support the EX4600-EM-8F and the QFX-EM-4Q expansion modules, but the QFX5100-24Q-AA supports an additional module, the QFX-PFA-4Q. That module allows users to input their own code in order to run custom applications. However, the QFX-PFA-4Q takes up both modules slots, whereas the EX4600-EM-8F and the QFX-EM-4Q take up only one module slot.

However, not everyone needs expansion modules, which is where the Arista lineup comes into play. If you’re looking for a simpler, more streamlined solution, the Arista 7050X Series may be a better choice.

Number of Available Models

Looking at the Arista vs Juniper QFX lineup, it’s evident that there are plenty of models to choose from based on your networking needs. However, the Arista lineup offers a much greater variety of available devices, making it easier to get precisely what you need. While the Juniper QFX5100 lineup includes four 1 RU models and one 2 RU model, the Arista lineup offers eight 1 RU switches and three 2 RU models.

Having so many models to choose from can be appealing; if you have very specific port configuration requirements, for example, choosing between Arista Networks vs Juniper devices may be an easy decision. If not, the Juniper QFX5100 lineup may serve you just as well. It all depends on your needs.

End-of-life (EOL) Availability

The other main difference between Juniper QFX vs Arista switches is end-of-life (EOL) availability. Arista 7050 devices are available from pre-owned networking equipment vendors, like BrightStar Systems.

There are multiple benefits of buying EOL devices. First off, purchasing Arista 7050 switches from the previous generation helps reduce the cost of buying pre-owned networking equipment. In general, the Arista 7050 price will be lower than the comparable Arista 7050X price because of the EOL availability.

It’s also a way to replace broken equipment if you’re not ready to upgrade to the next generation.

Because Juniper QFX5100 devices are not available EOL, used Juniper QFX5100 prices are often higher than EOL Arista 7050 prices. However, purchasing EOL devices isn’t for everyone. And if you’re not interested in EOL devices, the Juniper switches may still be a viable option for your networking needs.

Similarities Between QFX5100 and 7050X Switches

While there are several differences between Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X series, there are plenty of similarities too. These are just as important to consider when you’re deciding between Arista 7050X vs Juniper QFX5100 devices. Below, we take an in-depth look at where the two series overlap — particularly their compact design, as well as their exceptional port density and superior Ethernet speeds.


If compactness is a priority, the Arista 7050X Series and Juniper QFX5100 Series are both great options. Both lineups consist primarily of compact, 1 RU devices. If you are using standard 42U server racks, you can install as many as 42 switches that are 1 RU in size. Now that’s efficient.

However, both manufacturers also offer a few 2 RU models — if you are in need of greater port density. If you buy devices that are 2 RU in size, you’ll be able to fit 21 switches in the typical 42U server rack.

Port Density

A switch’s port density is all about the number of available ports. And, even though both the Juniper QFX5100 and Arista 7050X series are mostly made up of compact devices, the models still have very high port densities; the largest devices support at least 96 ports that support up to 10G Ethernet.

But, even if you need more than just 10G Ethernet, both series offer plenty of other options, including devices with as many as 32 QSFP+ ports for 40G Ethernet. Read through the specs above or contact us to talk to a specialist to figure out which switches will make the most sense for your networking needs.

Ethernet Speeds

Fixed configuration switches from Juniper and Arista not only provide great port densities; both also support a variety of Ethernet speeds to support whatever throughput your network requires. Between the two series, there are several 1G, 10G and 40G devices available.

In some cases, it’s best to choose a switch that is rated for more than what you need right now to account for scaling your network. If you aren’t sure what’s best for your network — especially in the long run — our specialist can help you determine which devices you should consider purchasing.

BrightStar Systems is an Expert on QFX Series and 7050X Series Devices

Once you’ve chosen between the Juniper QFX5100 vs Arista 7050X switches, you need a reliable supplier that you can trust. At BrightStar Systems, we make the process of buying and selling pre-owned networking switches from Juniper and Arista as easy as possible.

To start, our team of networking experts is ready to answer all of your questions. If you’re unable to decide between the Arista 7050X vs Juniper QFX5100 models, we can help. Our representatives will discuss your needs to determine what’s important to you. If you are looking for more expansion modules, the Juniper lineup might be right for you. However, if end-of-life availability is important to you or you want a larger selection of models to choose from, you may prefer the Arista lineup.

Once we narrow down which devices you’ll need, it’s time to determine how many your network requires. From there, we can put together a quote based on your budget and even account for any equipment you’re looking to sell. Once we collect your payment, your order will be shipped promptly.

When you purchase from BrightStar Systems, you are given additional guarantees. Not only do we test each switch to ensure its integrity; we also offer the BrightStar Systems’ 1-year, In-house Warranty on every device we sell, and it includes repairs, exchanges and refunds within the first 10 days.

We also offer some of the best Juniper and Arista prices available, ensuring you always get the most value out of your purchase. And on the equipment we buy, we always offer top-dollar. Contact us today to talk with one of our expert sales representatives about Juniper QFX5100 and Arista 7050X devices.