Juniper’s Java Pitch

The JavaOne 2011 conference took place this week in San Francisco, providing Java developers with new tools, resources and development information. While the world of networking and the world of Java development may seem somewhat removed from each other, that’s not necessarily the case.

Among the many vendors that were at JavaOne was Juniper Networks, bringing with it a message for Java developers about programmable networks.

“We want to offer education about what developers can do with the power of the network,” Mike Harding, vice president and general manager of Juniper’s developer programs, told “We also want to demonstrate network aware and programmable network examples.”

Junos is Juniper’s embedded network operating system and it is complemented by a number of other Juniper efforts including, Junos Pulse for mobility and Junos Space and for developers. Harding said that Junos Space is a middleware platform that is network-aware. According to Harding, there are now over 400 development organizations that work with the Junos Space SDK to extend their networks.

“The strategy is to make the network accessible and unlock the value that is available in the network, that has only been available to network and security administrators,” Harding said. “We want to make that value available to developers in developer languages so they can do interesting stuff.”

Harding noted that a lot of the Junos Space middleware platform is written in Java, though the developer APIs are restful and thus language independent. In term of integrating with Oracle or other Java middleware servers there are potential integration points via the Junos Space APIs.

David Ward, Chief Architect and Platform Systems Division CTO at Juniper Networks, explained during a keynote address at JavaOne that the is a lot of critical information for Java developers that can be obtained from the network.

“There is an extreme amount of information all the way down to the capabilities of wavelengths inside of fibre that you can use to build a better experience for applications,” Ward said.

Ward explained that with a programmable network, an application can bias which cache or database server it will use, based on proximity to it on the Internet. That proximity can be shortest path via router nodes, or it can be based on delay and jitter on the path.

“The more you know about what is going on below those development platforms and how they interact with the network, you’re going to be able to do more than just get an IP address or get a domain name,” Ward said. ” Instead you can program the nodes, get utilization and delay information and program QoS profiles for your application.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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