Light Reading

Juniper's SDN Will Build Service Chains

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
1/15/2013
50%
50%

Juniper finally spoke up with a software-defined networking (SDN) plan on Tuesday, describing a network where chains of functions can be run in software, each element growing or shrinking as necessary. That description, presented during a keynote at Juniper's Global Partner Conference, put a practical spin in SDN. "We think it's what SDN is really all about," said Bob Muglia, Juniper's executive vice president of software. The announcement was important because Juniper seemed left behind as competitors, including Cisco, loudly proclaimed their SDN plans. Juniper does have the QFabric data-center fabric, which exhibits key properties of SDN, but the company hadn't put forth a total SDN strategy until now -- and QFabric's popularity has been questionable, by most analysts' estimation. Juniper decided its approach would be to distill the scattered SDN conversation in to one architectural construct, Muglia said. Like other companies, Juniper said SDN is all about services, but the "service chain" description created a concrete image of what to expect from the technology. Juniper's chain gang
"Service chain" was Muglia's phrase for functions that get linked together and have to work together. This already happens in the network; it's just that it happens physically. A router might attach to a firewall and an intrusion detection platform, for instance. Each of the three has performance limits, and each has to be configured when anything changes. Under SDN, the alternative would be for those elements (possibly even the router, someday) to run as virtual machines on servers, allowing each element's capacity to get dialed up or down as needed. They would be linked together by a control plane that's at least partially centralized. "That is all controlled by the SDN controller. It is all set up by the SDN service chain, and all of those things are connected logically together," Muglia said. That's where December's acquisition of Contrail comes in. Muglia didn't give any new details, but he said Contrail will be the basis of the logically centralized control plane that Juniper will offer. Contrail's work involved the creation of a control plane that's distributed around the network, in elements using the BGP and XMPP protocols to exchange information about the network. Moving to the center
Now, getting to that point of SDN service chains will take some legwork. Before doing that, operators will want to centralize many of their network functions -- other than the forwarding plane of switches and routers, which still would operate in a distributed fashion. "We propose that you use cloud techniques to build all of these systems -- the management plane, control plane, services plane... so now we move to a world where these capabilities, these network planes, can run on x86 servers in a data center, and they run as virtual machines just like any application would be run," Muglia said. The management plane should be centralized first, to do away with manual configuration that's done today through text-based, command-line interfaces. In fact, configuration is often cited as an area where SDN could really help, by saving time and eliminating human error; Muglia, like many others, emphasized that point. After that, services -- things such as security appliances -- should go to the cloud, with elements such as security appliances being replaced by virtual machines, he said. Juniper believes that none of this means hardware becomes commoditized, of course. Nor does it mean that routers immediately make the jump to being virtual machines. "There's a whole set of other functions, in particular the forwarding functions and some attributes of those services, that can be performed by ASICs that are designed and optimized to forward packets and forward flows," he said. Licensing sucks
As perhaps a preparatory step toward SDN, Juniper also announced the Juniper Software Advantage licensing program on Tuesday. It's a program to let customers license a certain capacity of software -- 10Gbit/s of throughput, for instance -- and let them split it among multiple systems. By contrast, today's licensing is tied to particular boxes and isn't transferable to other boxes. The idea was to mimic the licensing practices of enterprise software, Muglia said. "Licensing in networking is so messed up that we had an opportunity to completely reboot it," especially with SDN on the horizon, he said. — Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/16/2013 | 1:16:33 AM
re: Juniper's SDN Will Build Service Chains
Juniper has a few IETF drafts out co-written with Google regarding stateful PCE using PCEP to control TE LSPs across the network. -áThis also extends PCE where it can initiate new LSPs as well. -á -áJuniper has plenty of documents which outline their technical vision for controlling the network, some of the technical pieces just aren't there today. -á -áOpenflow isn't the answer. -áCisco, Juniper, and Alcatel are not looking to replace the IP/MPLS control plane at all, but use external controllers to add more intelligence. -áJuniper sees APIs like OpenFlow as ways to control edge flows into a more intelligent provider network. -á
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/15/2013 | 9:49:50 PM
re: Juniper's SDN Will Build Service Chains
Tom Nolle thinks the SDN plan sounds more like NFV.-á He's got a point.-á http://blog.cimicorp.com/?p=11...

Juniper is involving the whole network -- specifically, the management plane and "services" (often exemplified by security appliances) -- in its SDN plan.-á Cisco talks more about the "how," in terms of APIs to program different layers of the networks, while Juniper today focused more on the "what."-á Juniper's way sounds more shallow when I type it that way, but I think it made for an effective presentation.

It was light on the "how," but for a partner conference, that might have been the right tone. Actually, our friend Chad Berndtson at CRN noted on twitter that some people thought Muglia's talk was too heavy on the geek speak.
Craig Matsumoto
50%
50%
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/15/2013 | 7:40:03 PM
re: Juniper's SDN Will Build Service Chains

The new software licensing doesn't apply to existing products!-á If Muglia made that distinction, I missed it.

It'll be applied to new products that come out, as appropriate.-á First examples will probably be the manageability services in Junos Space.-á (Juniper clarified all this in a post-game phone conference with the press.)
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (0) comments


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
MWC: Let the Madness Begin
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.