Juniper Delivers on SDN Strategy for Service Providers

Networking vendor is taking Software Defined Network from planning and strategy to implementation phase

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Feb 22, 2013
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Juniper announced its formal Software Defined Networking (SDN) strategy in January of this year. The company is now moving from strategy to implementation phase.

This week Juniper announced its Networks Services Activation Director, which provides a centralized and automated way for carriers to provision new customers. Brad Brooks, VP of Marketing and Business Strategy for the Software Solutions Division at Juniper, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the new system leverage an SDN approach to eliminate a lot of the manual configuration processes.

Juniper is also expanding on its Junos vApp Engine effort, which enables apps to run on x86 servers that are connected to Juniper hardware. The new Juniper Networks Mobile Control Gateway had previously only been available as a dedicated machine and is now coming to the software based vApp Engine.

Brooks highlighted the Mobile Control gateway as a proof point of how Juniper is executing on its SDN vision. Juniper is now pulling intelligence out of the network and letting it run at the edge of network in software.

Linux Based

The vApp Engine is at the core of Juniper's SDN implementation today and it relies on the open source Linux operating system, for now. Brooks said that the first instantiation of the vApp engine runs on Linux, though the plan is to eventually support other operating systems. Currently, Juniper relies on the CentOS distribution of Linux which is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Juniper has also created what Brooks described as a simple virtual machine orchestration system that enables the Juniper virtual machines to be orchestrated by others systems. Brooks stressed that Juniper will support multiple virtualization systems and they do not intend to be in the business for virtualization orchestration.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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