Juniper Networks’ strategy for software-defined networks (SDN) leadership

Infotech Lead America: Juniper Networks has outlined its strategy for software-defined networks (SDN) leadership.

The strategy, centered around six principles, is aimed at leading the SDN market. Juniper’s SDN strategy will enable companies to accelerate the design and delivery of new services, lower the cost of network operation, and provide a clear path to implementation.

Pradeep Sindhu, co-founder and chief technical officer, Juniper Networks


Juniper’s SDN strategy and six principles:

1. Cleanly separate networking software into four layers (or planes) — management, services, control and forwarding — providing the architectural underpinning to optimize each plane within the network.
2. Centralize the appropriate aspects of the management, services and control software to simplify network design and lower operating costs.
3. Use the cloud for elastic scale and flexible deployment, enabling usage-based pricing to reduce time-to-service and correlate cost based on value.
4. Create a platform for network applications, services and integration into management systems, enabling new business solutions.
5. Standardize protocols for interoperable, heterogeneous support across vendors, providing choice and lowering cost.
6. Broadly apply SDN principles to all networking and network services including security from the data center and enterprise campus to the mobile and wireline networks used by service providers.

How Juniper Networks promises a SDN-enabled network in 2013 and beyond.

Juniper Networks promises following steps:

Step 1: Centralize network management, analytics and configuration functionality to provide a single master that configures all networking devices. This lowers operating cost and allows customers to gain business insight from their networks. Juniper Networks Junos Space applications can enable customers to begin taking this step today.

Step 2: Extract networking and security services from the underlying hardware by creating service virtual machines (VMs). This enables network and security services to independently scale using industry-standard x86 hardware based on the needs of the solution. This next generation of programmable networks will be introduced with the JunosV App Engine, scheduled to be available in Q1 2013. This step is supported by Juniper Software Advantage — Juniper’s new software licensing approach.

Step 3: Introduce a centralized controller that enables multiple network and security services to connect in series across devices within the network. This is called SDN Service Chaining – using software to virtually insert services into the flow of network traffic. Service chaining functionality is crudely accomplished in today’s physical world using separate network and security devices. With SDN Service Chaining, networks can dynamically respond to the needs of the business. This step will reduce the time, cost and risk for customers to design, test and deliver new network and security services. Juniper Networks anticipates delivering SDN Service Chaining functionality in 2014 utilizing the SDN controller technology acquired from Contrail Systems, together with the evolution of the JunosV App Engine.

Step 4: Optimize the usage of network and security hardware to deliver high performance. While SDN steps one through three enable new network and security capabilities, optimized network and security hardware will continue to deliver 10 times or better performance for critical networking functions than can be accomplished in software alone. The combination of optimized hardware together with SDN Service Chaining allows customers to build the best possible networks. Juniper Networks MX Series and SRX Series products will evolve to support tomorrow’s software-based Service Chaining architecture, assuring customers that investments made today can take advantage of the new capabilities delivered by SDN now and in the future.

“SDN promises a way for the networking industry to deliver two critically needed benefits to its customers. The first is the ability of vendors to deliver innovation at a faster rate and the ability of customers to absorb it at a faster rate. The second is a dramatic reduction in the operational cost of running a network, achieved primarily through simplification. Juniper pioneered the first step in the separation of control and forwarding functions in networking equipment. This is the next logical step in the evolution of networking technology,” said Pradeep Sindhu, co-founder and chief technical officer, Juniper Networks.

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