Juniper Launches Fusion for Service Provider SDN

By Sean Michael Kerner | Feb 24, 2014 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/datacenter/juniper-launches-fusion-for-service-provider-sdn.html

Juniper is expanding its portfolio of Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions for service providers today with a pair of new innovations announced at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.

One of the new solutions is called Junos Fusion and is a software solution for managing network elements. Mike Marcellin, senior vice president of Strategy and Marketing for Juniper Networks, told Enterprise Networking Planet that Fusion is now a Junos feature available on any Juniper Junos platform. He explained that it uses SDN protocol NETCONF/YANG, so it can easily be applied with third party equipment or extended to an SDN controller if desired.

The Fusion technology was was developed within Juniper and the underlying protocol NETCONF/YANG has also been shared in standards bodies.

"You can think of this as underlay to reduce the number of components that need to be touched in operations," Marcellin said.

There is no rip-and-replace needed, as the existing service provider control plane, such as BGP or MPLS, remains entirely intact.

"Fusion binds lower-layer devices together into a single point, almost like a proxy, making operations simpler," Marcellin said.

NorthStar Controller

Juniper is also expanding its SDN controller lineup, which had previously only consisted of the Contrail controller. Marcellin noted that the NorthStar and Contrail controllers are complementary solutions and together enable service providers to address multiple layers of the network.

"NorthStar is a traffic engineering controller built to optimize the transport layers and enable automated and highly scalable operations," Marcellin said. "It can change paths dynamically and as a result, service providers can run networks at significantly higher utilization."

The NorthStar controller will also be used for traffic projection planning. The core technology behind the NorthStar controller came to Juniper by way of the $60 million acquisition of privately-held WANDL in December of 2013.

"NorthStar will combine WANDL technology with a virtualized JUNOS instance to discover, provision and manage traffic in service provider networks," Marcellin said.

Juniper also originally gained the Contrail technology by way of acquisition, back in December of 2012 for $176 million.

Marcellin explained that in contrast to the NorthStar controller, the Contrail controller provides service-level abstraction that allows service chaining of data center resources for large-scale NFV traffic processing.

"Contrail implements this by moving encapsulation and traffic management to hypervisor level, which makes every computing node a virtual router (vRouter)," Marcellin said. "Contrail allows users to maintain la ogically centralized but physically distributed interconnect that can use any IP network."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist