Nantong University in China builds a new powerful data center

Nantong University in China has built a new powerful data center leveraging the Juniper Networks QFabric System, becoming the first university in China to deploy the innovative technology.

As part of Juniper’s MetaFabric Architecture, which simplifies and accelerates the deployment and delivery of applications within and across multiple data center locations, the new infrastructure enables the university to fully adopt cloud computing to meet the explosive growth in demand for data center services following the recent re-development of its campus network.

With a history stretching back 100 years, Nantong University has more than 30,000 full time students and nearly 2,600 staff in 22 schools that offer 78 undergraduate programs and 43 postgraduate programs. The campus network, consisting of Juniper Networks MX960 3D Universal Edge Routers, supports both local and remote students on fixed and mobile broadband connections that generate a tremendous amount of multimedia traffic that overwhelmed the old data center and its traditional three-layer switching architecture.

 The Juniper Networks QFX3000-M QFabric System was deployed to meet the university’s need for a high-performance, easily scalable data center network that transforms the economics of network operations.

In place of its legacy Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) servers, the university’s blade servers now connect to the QFabric System—a single-layer, low-latency infrastructure that provides any-to-any, single hop connectivity between devices—via dual 10GbE ports, providing ample bandwidth to support multiple virtual machines running under a VMWare ESX hypervisor on each server.

With average port-to-port latency of just 3 microseconds over the QFabric System, server-to-server traffic is extremely fast—far more than could be achieved with a conventional three-tier data center switching architecture.

 The Juniper Networks QFX3500 Switches, which are the Node devices for Nantong University’s QFabric System, are also Fibre Channel over Ethernet-to-Fibre Channel (FCoE-FC) gateways, enabling the university to install Fibre Channel cards in the servers and run additional cabling.

As the QFabric System is managed as a single logical switch, Nantong University’s data center network administrative overhead has been reduced by a dramatic 80 percent, with Junos Space Network Director delivering even more time savings with automation capabilities across the network management lifecycle.

 Fewer physical devices in the data center also translate into significantly less power, space and cooling requirements. Compared to an alternative data center networking system evaluated by the university, the Juniper Networks QFabric System consumes 72 percent less power (2,500 watts vs 9,000 watts) and takes up 43 percent less space (12 rack units vs 21).

“With our new data center running over the QFabric, we’re already enjoying the benefits of extremely low-latency performance and streamlined operations, with the ability to scale the network to meet fast rising demand on a very cost-effective basis,” said Weize Ding, Chief Officer of Education Technology Center, Nantong University.