Light Reading
The company finally articulates an SDN plan, offering a vision of elastically scaling services running in the cloud

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. -ŠThis also extends PCE where it can initiate new LSPs as well. -Š -ŠJuniper has plenty of documents which outline their technical vision for controlling the network, some of the technical pieces just aren't there today. -Š -ŠOpenflow isn't the answer. -ŠCisco, Juniper, and Alcatel are not looking to replace the IP/MPLS control plane at all, but use external controllers to add more intelligence. -ŠJuniper sees APIs like OpenFlow as ways to control edge flows into a more intelligent provider network. -Š
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.-Š He's got a point.-Š 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.-Š 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."-Š 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!-Š If Muglia made that distinction, I missed it.

It'll be applied to new products that come out, as appropriate.-Š First examples will probably be the manageability services in Junos Space.-Š (Juniper clarified all this in a post-game phone conference with the press.)
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed