New Juniper access switch EX-2300MP

This one is the ducks nuts as the saying goes, it seems to do everything I wanted from the newer unify line for not much more cost. My nearest comparable example from Unifi is

a strangely named ‘l3’ switch with as of yet unknown l3 ability. UI’s reputation for “lets build it now and put the engine in later but make sure the headlights turn on” sort of mentality about switch design has had some bad side effects like the l3 abilities of their products are missing or not finished (some have never finished?).
Lowest price i’m finding is 1400 for Juniper, which is not bad.
The Unifi is 800, also not bad although aforementioned caveats are not to be overlooked.

What I don’t know is what kind of software or licensing dependencies does Juniper have?

  • It’s one of the reasons why I refuse to buy any Cisco products, your pretty much married to the company and the moment you want to stop, the device is no longer useable (or parts of it aren’t).

Yes, they have some license requirements

I have not read fully through what licences are needed for what features and I am sure you could shop around, but CDW has this

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Spent a little time looking at Juniper stuff… Basically any real routing requires a license. If you have a router to handle any real routing, then nothing to worry about.

Training materials for many of their certifications look like they are still free, I did ask that in an email today.

I’m looking at EX3400 for my network at work, I have old Enterasys C5 series switches and they are going end of support in January 2022 and we’ve had them running since 2011. Kind of time for something new before we start having electronic failures. The stacking looks a little lower speed than the C5, they use common 40gb quad SFP+ ports for their “Virtual Chassis” stacking, you get two of them for complete round robin connections. I’m leaning this way for my lab too, seems easier to get newer stuff at better prices than used Cisco, and I think anyone can download the latest firmware for free. This is a big deal at work which is why the campus went with Enterasys and why I why go Juniper for my department.

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This one looks nice, but its the lowest price i’ve found! 2700 USD base price is nothing to sneeze at.

There are definitely top tier pricing. The 48 port versions I was looking at are anywhere between $5500 and $4500 and I’m not sure I trust the $4500 prices. The Extreme I’m looking at are almost $6000 retail but we are buying a ton of them so I hope the price would be cheaper for the 128+ ports I need.

Used prices on Juniper are pretty good on ebay, but the one thing I haven’t confirmed is if you can get to the OS. They say that common personal email domains (gmail, etc.) are only going to have access to the training and documentation parts of the downloads. They also say that you need to enter a serial number for OS downloads but those two account details seem to be in opposition to each other. Hoping a sales rep will get back to me today so I can ask. If I can get in with my personal email and a serial number, I may buy an old EX series switch to fool with, they had a previous model that still has four 10gb ports that I could use in my XCP-NG lab between the four servers (was going to buy a Cisco but that’s on hold).

I did start to look into their training stuff, the lowest level associate has all free training material and the possibility of earning a 75% discount on the exam. They also have a bunch of interesting topics with free PDF books or you can purchase printed versions. Here is the free other stuff

The higher level certifications cost money and may not have self study materials, I didn’t get a good feel for those. They have lots of information about getting 6 certifications in a short amount of time, seems to be the way they are packaging things. Must be nice to have your employer say that your next tasks are to learn this stuff, and don’t work on other things until you are done. Not something that happens to me.

I also found that they have “evaluation” versions of the OS that you can load up in GNS3 or EVE-NG to make a time limited lab, I think the book I was looking at last night said 90 days for these. It was at the end of this book, and I only barely skimmed through that chapter

This book seems decently well written but I’ve only just skimmed a few pages.

The ability to get any OS or security patch is a big deal at work, that’s one of the biggest reasons why we don’t have a Cisco system. Eterasys would always answer questions by email, and with a serial number would let you download pretty much anything. I had no issues getting updates for used switches bought off of ebay. The feature licensing is pretty much a standard now, just about all of them want more money for any real routing, I had to license that on my C5 switches, only I had to buy the license for all of them, not just one per stack so it was a bit expensive. Never really needed it so not buying the license this time around. Juniper is one per stack, though they suggest buying a second for the back up “master” switch for failover.

And just FYI, in the USA there are some EX3400 switches for around $800 or less. Again if the OS is available to anyone with a serial number, it might be worth doing.

As interested as I was, I’m pretty much out now. Juniper requires a support contract to get OS updates and security patches. Or at least as of 2019 which are the newest posts I found it still required a support contract. Probably not going to go forward with any of this and just stick to Extreme for work and get an old Cisco switch for my lab because they are more popular which means easier access to certain things. Too bad.