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Routers
July 2022
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Network Admin at a government with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Excellent scalability and good feature-set, pricing, and support
Pros and Cons
  • "The thing that sets Juniper apart from most switches is that when you're in the command line and you make a configuration change, you just write the command and then say "commit confirmed minutes". For example, I'm configuring a switch here in my office, which is five miles away, and I say, "commit confirmed 5". If I can't get back to the interface within five minutes to be able to make sure the switch came up, it rolls back to the previous configuration. This way I do not get locked out, or the switch doesn't get messed up because of the incorrect configuration. That's an automatic feature, which is pretty slick. I haven't seen that feature with other vendors that I've worked with. That's probably my most favorite feature."
  • "The initial setup for Juniper switches is complex. Juniper has a new program that solves that problem a little bit, but it is expensive, so I don't use it. It is Juniper Mesh, Juniper Wire, or something like that where you plug in a switch, and it goes out to their cloud, finds a config, and brings it down. So, you can do everything cloud-based, but there is a fee for that. It is expensive, so I've never used it. If we were starting, we would try to do something like that. It is more for a large enterprise for managing hundreds of switches versus what we're doing. They should make its price more cost-effective or include it for new or smaller companies."

What is our primary use case?

We use it across our whole environment. We use it for everything from our core to our edge. It is basically deployed everywhere. A good percentage of our Juniper switches are in a stacked array. For example, we do four 48-port switches for a wiring closet in a building. They're all stacked together, and they call it ActivChassis. Most companies, such as HP, ADTRAN, also do the same kind of thing. So, we do a virtual chassis formation in our wiring closet. For smaller buildings that only need one switch, we do a single switch at the distant end.

We have a lot from the 2300 Series. We have one 3300 and quite a few from the 3400 Series. We also have one 4550, and we have also been buying the 4350 series ones.

What is most valuable?

The thing that sets Juniper apart from most switches is that when you're in the command line and you make a configuration change, you just write the command and then say "commit confirmed minutes". For example, I'm configuring a switch here in my office, which is five miles away, and I say, "commit confirmed 5". If I can't get back to the interface within five minutes to be able to make sure the switch came up, it rolls back to the previous configuration. This way I do not get locked out, or the switch doesn't get messed up because of the incorrect configuration. That's an automatic feature, which is pretty slick. I haven't seen that feature with other vendors that I've worked with. That's probably my most favorite feature.

A nice thing about Juniper is that they also have a GUI interface, and it is a little bit better than most other vendors. Their GUI interface does more than a lot of other vendors.

Another nice thing about Juniper is that their training is available for free on their website. I wanted to get certified with Juniper, and I did it for free. On the entry-level exam, they pay for 75% of the exam if you take it through their website.

What needs improvement?

The negative of Juniper is that their command-line coding is a lot different than any other vendor, so there is a fairly steep learning curve to it. 

The initial setup for Juniper switches is complex. Juniper has a new program that solves that problem a little bit, but it is expensive, so I don't use it. It is Juniper Mesh, Juniper Wire, or something like that where you plug in a switch, and it goes out to their cloud, finds a config, and brings it down. So, you can do everything cloud-based, but there is a fee for that. It is expensive, so I've never used it. If we were starting, we would try to do something like that. It is more for a large enterprise for managing hundreds of switches versus what we're doing. They should make its price more cost-effective or include it for new or smaller companies.

One advantage that Cisco has is that there are a billion people who use it, so there are a lot more publications or books, whereas, with Juniper, you really can't find a current book. Everything that you have is from their website. They have a lot of documentation on their website, which is good, but if you're a person like me who likes having a hardback book, you're not going to find one that's current. If I wanted to be at home and learn something and read about it, I won't be able to do that. It is going to be a PDF, so you either have got to print it out, or you have to read it online. Sometimes, being older and having bad eyes, that's not good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We probably started using it four years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is excellent. It is being used extensively. We're going to finish off other vendors this year. It is going to be all Juniper.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good. Our experience with them has been good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have been supporting three different vendors: HP, ADTRAN, and Juniper. Our environment was getting old. So, we just started replacing things that were ten or eight years old. This year, we're replacing everything so that we're just one shop, and we don't have to support three different vendors. It is tough to support three different OS, so that's why we are finishing others off.

Juniper's GUI interface is a little bit better than most other vendors, but Juniper's command line is tougher than HP. HP has the easiest interface. On an HP switch, you can just write a command, and it automatically knows where to go. Juniper has a very hierarchal kind of structure, and you have to be within that framework of what you're trying to do to make that change. That's why it is a little bit harder. Juniper commands are also a little bit longer, but it is easy to fill out commands by using a question mark or a tab. It'll then auto-fill if you're typing it correctly, which is nice.

Juniper is better in terms of if you make a mistake. When you make a command mistake on HP, you don't necessarily get to know. On Juniper, if you're using a command and you get it all set up, and then you hit commit, it won't commit if there is a syntax error or some other issue. It will tell you that there is an error and you got to fix it. It also tells you what it is, but knowing the commands is the hard part.

How was the initial setup?

It was complex. The first few that we got were tough, and sometimes, they still can be tough. It has definitely a steep learning curve. If you are an organization that has never used it before, it is going to be tough.

If you know what you're doing, you can get a switch done in a couple of hours. If you're new, it is going to take you days to weeks, depending upon how much you want to get it to work. So, it is kind of complex.

I use SecureCRT to configure all my switches, which replaces Putty and is made by VanDyke software. It is not that expensive and costs around $90. Using SecureCRT has made things easier for me, and it has really helped me with Juniper. If you're familiar with Putty, it works really well. It gives you options to store all of your commands. So, when I'm building a new switch, I have all the commands that I normally use, such as the commands to set up the IP address or a route. I don't have to memorize the commands. I can just double-click the set route command and then just change a variable.

What about the implementation team?

For the first two switches, we used the reseller from whom we bought the switches. Someone from their company came in and installed the first two switches. After that, we looked at his configs and figured out how to do it, and since then, we did it on our own. Our experience with the reseller was good.

Maintenance is handled by two of us in my department, but we do so many other things. We are Network Admins. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Their prices are competitive and not bad. It is cheaper than Cisco.

We have a yearly license.

What other advice do I have?

It has more features than I'm currently using. Their support is fine, and their prices are also competitive. It is cheaper than Cisco, so I would definitely recommend it over Cisco because of the price. 

Juniper provides training for free on their website. You can do all their courses for free through their website. I would highly recommend doing these courses. They are free, which is awesome. You're not going to get free Cisco courses.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. The only reason for not giving it a 10 is its high learning curve. In terms of capabilities and feature set, it is right up there.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Routers
July 2022
Get our free report covering , and other competitors of ADTRAN NetVanta Routers and Switches. Updated: July 2022.
621,703 professionals have used our research since 2012.