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Juniper Networks is rolling out a new networking platform executives say will simplify the data center infrastructure, driving up throughput, scalability and efficiency while reducing latency, operating costs and the number of devices required for a networking architecture.

During a Webcast event from San Francisco Feb. 23, Juniper executives unveiled their QFabric architecture, a $100 million initiative formerly called “Project Stratus” that was launched after three years of development. The goal of the project is to collapse the data center networking infrastructure from the traditional two or three layers down to one, a move that will enable enterprises and midsize businesses handle the demands created by the onset of cloud computing and the growth of the mobile Internet.

“As these trends accelerate, its creates exponential demand, and it’s that exponential demand that requires a new approach,” Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson said during the event.

QFabric also gives Juniper a higher profile in the highly competitive data center networking space, a market still dominated by Cisco Systems, but with a cadre of rivals trying to grab a larger share. Juniper still needs to continue to build on its initiative, but the QFabric push is a strong step, according to Forrester Research analyst Andre Kindness.

“Even though Juniper still needs to deliver on parts 2 and 3, this product launch moves them up and puts Juniper Networks back in the Data Center Derby with Arista, Avaya, Brocade and Cisco,” Kindness said in a Feb. 23 blog post. “Juniper’s vision overlaps layer 3 and 2, which keeps packets from running across fabric for something that can be done locally thereby eliminating waste. The design allows partitioning of network by workgroup, too. QFabric’s strongest differentiation is the single management plane that makes all the components behave as one switch without introducing a single failure point. Juniper’s QFabric drives simplicity into the data center, a value long overdue.”

For more, read the eWeek article: Juniper Takes Aim at Cisco with QFabric Networking Strategy.