New Juniper core routers within Smartdc

Within Smartdc, recently both i3D.net core routers have been successfully replaced by Juniper MX10008 routers. Because of the continuously increasing data traffic volume and the expanding routing tables, it was necessary to replace the old core routers within the data center with new models that offer more capacity in terms of bandwidth, computing power and memory.

Network requirements from i3D.net
i3D.net is the sister company of Smartdc, and also one of Smartdc’s largest customers in the data center. i3D.net is one of the leading providers in the field of global game hosting. Every day, millions of gamers use i3D.net’s servers to play online video games. A large part of these servers is stored at the Smartdc data center in Rotterdam.

i3D.net manages its own network that is connected via the largest providers and internet exchanges in the world, with its own backbone over several fibers. Via Smartdc one can connect directly to the network of i3D.net.

Both game publishers and enterprise customers are served by i3D.net. In addition to solid hosting via dedicated servers, these organizations need secure and flexible networks that deliver high performance with the lowest possible latency. i3D.net is constantly expanding and improving its own network.

What does a core router do?
The core routers within Smartdc are at the heart of the i3D.net network. Core routers are responsible for controlling data traffic within a network and act as the backbone of a network because the device connects all network devices. These routers are optimized for sending high bandwidth volumes through the network.

The need for new routers
The continuous technological improvements combined with the rapid growth of i3D.net accelerated the urge for replacing the current core routers. That is why i3D.net was looking for core routers with 100Gbit and 400Gbit connections. They also looked at efficient power consumption, less rack space and automation options in the selection process. When looking for solutions, the choice ultimately fell on Juniper Networks.

The MX10008 Universal Routing Platform from Juniper Networks meets all our requirements.

Edwin Verwoerd – Network Architect at i3D.net

Benefits of the Juniper MX10008

The new Juniper MX10008 offers many benefits for both i3D.net and Smartdc. Due to the growing demand for data traffic, there is a need for more bandwidth. This upgrade was therefore necessary with an eye to the future, because not only do companies use more and more data, but also to anticipate future construction of the 5G network in the Netherlands. With a 5G network, larger amounts of data will have to be processed, stored and distributed for which a higher bandwidth is required. The expansion to 100 Gbit ports with the possibility to further expand to 400 Gbit ports was therefore necessary in the data center. The MX Platform offers improved performance and flexibility which are needed for this development.

The cost aspect also played a role in making a decision. The new generation of routers is more energy efficient, which means that Smartdc can somewhat counteract the rise in electricity costs.

Most routers on the market use side-to-side cooling. The Juniper Networks MX10008, on the other hand, uses front-to-back cooling, which is much more efficient in a data center. Another advantage is that the new routers are only 13U high, which saves rack space. Moreover, these routers use much less power than the old routers. If we look purely at our energy bill, we have already earned back the MX10008 within a few years. In addition to saving on costs and space, the Juniper routers offer more automation options.

Stefan Ideler – CTO at i3D.net

One supplier, one platform
The previous supplier that supplied routers and other network equipment to i3D.net was taken over by various parties in 2017. This forced i3D.net to work with different suppliers for firewalls, switches and routers, which proved to be inefficient. These suppliers work with different Operating Systems (OS) and this requires other certifications.

This has now been reduced to one supplier. Working with one supplier is more efficient and ultimately costs less because you only need to certify for one OS. Juniper works with one generic OS, called Junos. This OS is used on all Juniper equipment, which means that staff certification courses apply to the entire Juniper portfolio. This allows all employees to work with Juniper, which means that any bugs can be traced faster. Because Juniper consists of one ecosystem, employees can handle all devices so that customers can be served better and faster.

The entire i3D.net network team is trained to work with Junos and has obtained various Juniper certificates. This means we don’t have to train them for other software systems with regards to routers.

Edwin Verwoerd – Network Architect at i3D.net