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Juniper's entry-level campus switches pack a lot of (literal) power

Enough to run a microwave oven

Juniper Networks ginned up its campus switching portfolio this week by extending multi-gigabit networking and large power over ethernet (PoE) budgets to a line of entry-level appliances.

The company's EX4100 switches slot in under the previously announced EX4400 and offer a wide array of security and automation functionality – including EVPN-VXLAN for secure campus-to-campus communications, MACsec to protect network-to-network comms, and group-based microsegmentation.

The switches also integrate directly with the same Mist Cloud management environment used by Juniper's wireless access points for zero-touch provisioning, management, and AIOps-powered troubleshooting.

The switches are available in a variety of form factors and port densities ranging from 12x one-gigabit ports on the low end to 48x multi-gigabit ports on the high end.

At the top of the stack is the EX4100-MP. The switch comes in 24- and 48-port form factors with port speeds ranging from your run-of-the-mill gigabit to 10Gbit/sec. Both chassis top out at 472Gbit/sec of aggregate switching capacity, and feature feature eight uplinks operating at 10 to 25Gbit/sec.

In addition to higher port speeds, the EX4100-MP also has a healthy PoE budget capable of supporting up to 90W per port, for 1,620W of combined draw – making it ideal for powering large wireless access or IP-camera deployments.

The standard EX4100, meanwhile, maintains a similar form factor but sticks to standard gigabit speeds. As such, it tops out at 376Gbit/sec aggregate switching capacity. The switch also lacks the PoE budget of its multi-gig sibling, at 30W of power per port up to 1,440W in total.

For those who don't need 25Gbit/sec uplinks or massive PoE budgets, the EX4100-F is essentially a cut down version of its standard and multi-gig siblings. In exchange for these compromises, Juniper offers the switch in a third, 12-port, passively cooled form factor.

Juniper juices Mist, WAN Assurance

Alongside the switches, Juniper also rolled out new features for its Mist AIOps platform – including a Windows client for its Marvis virtual assistant, and improvements to its WAN Assurance service designed to identify and correct misconfigurations automatically.

Introduced in mid-2020, Marvis is a chat-bot style virtual assistant designed to automate common tasks and provide conversational feedback and recommendations on the state of the network.

Until now, Marvis has been limited to a web interface or Android app. With this week’s update, customers can deploy the the AI assistant on their Windows systems as well.

Meanwhile, Juniper's Mist WAN assurance service, which extends AIOps visibility and troubleshooting tools across wide-area networks, has gained the ability to identify and locate DHCP failures resulting from misconfigured servers, VLANs, or clients.

Finally, on the wireless front, Juniper has rolled out support for automatic placement and orientation on its access points.

The technology uses the access points' integrated Bluetooth radios and channel-state information to place them on a floor plan and ensure they're oriented as expected. If any device is deployed incorrectly, the issue is flagged in the Mist Cloud dashboard.

The approach differs somewhat to a similar capability offered by rival Aruba, which relies at least partially on GPS connectivity. ®

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