Juniper Switches vs. Routers: Which one is Right for Your Network?
Juniper is one of the popular IT networking brands, especially for its switches and routers.
As routers and switches are the connecting devices in a network, people assume them to be the same. Often, people buy them interchangeably thinking their work will be done. But, the fact is routers and switches have different functionality. So, if you want a seamless network connection, choose the right option between the two.
In this post, we will discuss what routers and switches are, how they function, and how they are different.
What are routers and switches?
Switches provide the facility to share information & resources by connecting different networking devices, such as computers, printers, and servers. The connected devices share data and information and communicate with each other. Usually, switches are used in a small business network setup.
Routers connect switches and their corresponding networks, building a large network. The switches and networks can be in a single location or different locations. Compared to switches, routers are smarter. They distribute or route the internet connection from the modem to all networking devices.
The two major functions of routers are to create and maintain the local area network and manage the entering and leaving of data.
How do routers and switches work?
A unique Media Access Control or MAC address plays an important role in the functioning of the switches. Switches put the IP Packet, which is sent by a device or computer to another device, with the source MAC address and destination MAC address. Other than this, switches encapsulate the IP Packet with a Frame and then send it to another device.
Routers work by connecting various networked devices, such as PC, tablets, printers, etc., to the network and form a network. First, the routers connect the modem to other devices, allowing communication between the devices and the internet.
Later, the routers transmit the data packets with the defined IP address from one network to another or within a network by providing a local IP address to each device over the internet. The local IP address ensures that data reaches the right place and does not get lost within the network. Routers find the best and fastest path to send data packets to the devices connected within the network. It’s very similar to the delivery package.
What are the benefits of routers and switches?
Switches enhance the available bandwidth of the network, enhance the performance of the network, reduce the workload on the individual host such as PCs, can be directly connected to the workstations or devices, and have less frame collision.
Routers enable most networking devices to connect easily at any time, can connect with the different architectures of the network, provide highly secure network access with password protection, reduce the network traffic with the help of the collision feature and provide data packets to correct destinations with the best route using the routing table and intelligence.
How are routers and switches different?
- Switches connect the end devices, such as computers, printers, etc; whereas, routers connect two different networks.
- Switches work on the data link layer of the OSI model, but routers work on the network layer of the OSI model.
- Switches determine the destination address of the received IP packet and forward it to the destination address. But, routers find the smallest and best routes for the packets to reach the destination. This is determined using the routing table.
- Switches use various switching techniques, such as circuit switching, packet switching, and message switching; whereas, routers use two routing techniques. The two techniques are adaptive routing and non-adaptive routing.
- Switches store MAC addresses in the lookup table or CAM table, getting the source and destination addresses. On the other hand, routers store the IP addresses in the routing table.
Which are popular Juniper routers and switches?
EX2300 Ethernet Switches
Used for micro-branch and converged network access deployments, the EX2300 Ethernet Switches are compact, high-performance switches. Both EX2300 and EX2300-C Ethernet switches deliver a compact, high-density, cost-effective solution, especially for small network environments. These two models support Juniper’s unique Virtual Chassis technology, which enables four switches to be connected and managed as a single device.
EX3400 Ethernet Switches
As a cost-effective solution, the EX3400 Ethernet Switches serve high-volume data, voice, and video enterprise environments. These switches are compact, and fixed-configured, offering levels of performance and management. This was previously available only with high-end access switches. These models support Virtual Chassis technology, interconnecting up to 10 switches that can be managed as a single device.
Juniper networks MX104 routers
Simply defined, the MX104 routes are compact, highly redundant, temperature-hardened 3D universal edge routers. These routers are built for space and power-constrained provider and enterprise facilities. As the routers are powered by Junos OS and the programmable Trio chipset, they share the same advanced routing, switching, security, and service features that are available in large MX Series platforms. They can thrive in a hyper-connected world.
Juniper Networks ACX500
A universal access router, the ACX500 is a small form factor, hardened fanless router, delivering up to 6 Gbps throughput. This router comes with an integrated software-enabled GPS receiver and supports a rich set of security, timing, and synchronization features. The ACX500 supports the Junos operating system. With this system, you can easily customize the provisioning and integration of third-party apps and tools.
To choose between Juniper routers and switches, you should determine your requirements. You should know which networking device will work best for you and your organization.