Juniper Networks goes after finance market with switch-integrated compute

Juniper launches a compact compute-integrated network switch to boost performance of sensitive applications for financial institutions

Networking equipment supplier Juniper has set its sights on financial services customers running critical, real-time data over their networks, with a new application acceleration (AA) switch and packet flow accelerator (PFA) module.

Built on its pre-existing QFX product lines, the QFX5100-AA switch and QFX-PFA module will offer consolidated compute resources and customisable logic – from supplier partner Maxeler – inside the network itself.

The QFX5100-AA is a 40GB Ethernet switch built on Intel Xeon and Broadcom switching silicon, while the QFX-PFA module is based on Altera’s multi-100GB field-programmable gate array.

The technology takes advantage of Juniper’s existing Junos operating system and integrates with its Junos Space Network Director to provide single point of control datacentre management. It also offers more application-centric visibility into the network through the supplier’s Cloud Analytics Engine.

Real-time banking

Juniper claimed this would be ideal for customers in verticals such as banking and insurance to help them improve the performance of their market data feeds, social media feeds, order execution routing and big data analytics.

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It said that with the vast quantities of information constantly flowing over bank networks, institutions increasingly needed to analyse and process it in real time to make better trading decisions, while at the same time reducing their costs and network complexity.

It said integrating compute into the switch will let customers distribute compute capability across their datacentre networks to accomplish both these goals and address up-and-coming market opportunities such as hyper-contextual trading – which is where institutions mine all available and relevant data to help them make trading decisions faster.

“The possibilities of compute-integrated networking are transformative across a broad variety of financial services, including equities and commodities exchanges, market data providers, high-frequency trading and credit processing,” said Andrew Bach, chief architect for Juniper Networks’ financial services team.

Bach said the supplier saw great potential in other verticals for this sort of deep compute integration, such as energy, research, education and large enterprises.

Ari Studnitzer, managing director of architecture and product management at derivatives trading house CME Group, said it was critical for his organisation to have the ability to expand the network quickly.

“Our platforms enable time-sensitive, customisable and customer-focused compute applications that support our high expectations for operational integrity. Working with Juniper allows us to deliver a scalable, predictable and more cost-efficient application switching platform with the convenience of a single switch,” he said.

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