Juniper hardware recommendation

Adam Thompson athompson at
Fri May 7 21:14:07 UTC 2021

Hi, Javier!
MX series: Full-featured – sings, dances, walks the cat, etc. But painful racking (as you noted).  Very nice and comprehensive boxes otherwise.  Interfaces are more expensive, but often modular and wider variety.
EX/QFX series: Nice switches, OK L3 routers.  Lots of limitations in MPLS and various other corner-case limitations.

My personal opinion:

  *   Skip the MX480 (and up), it’s just too expensive.  Consider an EX9200 instead, which can do 90% of the same functions.  (If you can afford an MX480 or MX960, by all means, get one!)
  *   MX240 is reasonable, but dated.  A pair of MX204s in HA would make more sense, to me.
  *   Skip the MX 2k/10k series – they don’t support SFP+ interfaces!  (“No 10G WDM for you!”)  Also no 1G, you need a separate step-down switch for that.  I don’t know what SP Juniper thinks they’re targeting with these.
  *   1U/2U EX/QFX are reasonable edge devices as long as you’ve verified they can do what you need.  Not core-router class IMHO.
  *   If you don’t already know that you want a PTX, then you don’t want a PTX.  The product is fine, but niche, and has the same interface limitations as MX10k.
  *   ACX: MEF-compliant mini-MX, basically.  Edge device only, pairs well with an MX480 (IIRC).  Top-end are exceptions: ACX5k/7k might work, depending on what you need it to do.  Not normally deployed as a core router.

My experience is that you never fill up an EX9208 or MX480 chassis, but the MX240 is too small.  YMMV.  MX480 line cards are stupid expensive compared to, well, everything else.

I’m probably out-of-date on some (or much) of my knowledge, let’s see what everyone else here has to say!


Adam Thompson
Consultant, Infrastructure Services
100 - 135 Innovation Drive
Winnipeg, MB, R3T 6A8
(204) 977-6824 or 1-800-430-6404 (MB only)
athompson at<mailto:athompson at><>

From: NANOG < at> On Behalf Of Javier Gutierrez Guerra
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 3:55 PM
To: nanog at
Subject: Juniper hardware recommendation

Just out of curiosity, what would you recommend using for a core router/switch from Juniper?
Datasheets show them all as very nice and powerful devices (although they do use a lot of rack space and side to side airflow is painful) but I’m just wondering here what most people use and how good or bad of an experience you have with it 😊

Javier Gutierrez Guerra
Network Analyst
Westman Communications Group
Phone: 204-717-2827
Email: guerraj at<mailto:guerraj at>


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