Light Reading

Juniper Gives OpenDaylight Some Loving

Mitch Wagner

You ever buy something and decide you hated it when you got it home? That seemed what might be going on with Juniper and OpenDaylight. Juniper is a Platinum Sponsor of the SDN organization, but it's kept the relationship at arm's length.

Now, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) seems to be warming up to the OpenDaylight Project. Juniper recently named a representative to the project's Technical Steering Committee. And last week it submitted the OpenContrail Plugin to OpenDaylight.

The plug-in would allow Juniper's OpenContrail SDN controller to coordinate with the OpenDaylight SDN controller. The plugin works with Neutron, the networking component of the OpenStack cloud stack. It allows OpenStack, OpenContrail, and OpenDaylight to work together.

Buyer's Remorse
Seemed like a nice-looking outfit until I got it home. Image source: Ian Ransley
Seemed like a nice-looking outfit until I got it home. Image source: Ian Ransley

OpenContrail is the prime manifestation of Juniper's ambivalence toward OpenDaylight. Juniper bought SDN startup Contrail Systems in December 2012 for $176 million cash and stock. It released Contrail's SDN controller as open-source. (See Juniper Buys Contrail for (More) SDN Smarts and Defining SDN & NFV.)

And Juniper is also backing OpenDaylight -- another open-source SDN controller. As a Platinum sponsor, Juniper pays $500,000 per year to the project and is committed to dedicating 10 full-time equivalent staff, usually developers, but potentially involved in test or documentation, OpenDaylight Project executive director Nicholas "Neela" Jacques tells Light Reading.

Further complicating matters: Juniper has reportedly failed to meet its 10-person commitment to staffing OpenDaylight, and has forbidden employees from working with OpenDaylight capabilities that might conflict with OpenContrail.

"Factually speaking, you haven't seen a ton of activity from Juniper in the OpenDaylight Project," says Jacques. He's encouraged by recent activity from Juniper. "I think there is tremendous potential for Juniper to get more involved in OpenDaylight. I'm going to take the optimistic side. I think and believe they've been thinking along the right lines."

I asked Juniper for comment; its PR department sent back the following statement, attributed to Jennifer Lin, senior director of product management for Juniper and OpenDaylight Board member:

    Juniper Networks firmly believes that open source and open standards lead the way to greater levels of innovation, and Juniper continues to actively participate and contribute to key communities associated with SDN including OpenDaylight, ETSI and the Open Networking Foundation. When OpenContrail was released, we made the source code available to the open source community and reinforced our commitment to the OpenDaylight Project. The OpenContrail plug-in proposal is the first step toward that pledge and demonstrates Juniper's ongoing commitment to open, industry collaboration as we deliver on our cloud roadmap.

In addition to Lin, last month Juniper named Kent Watsen as its representative to the OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to

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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/29/2014 | 6:44:50 PM
Re: neutron plugin for Open Contrail
emaganap - That certainly speaks ill of the credibility of Juniper's ODL offering. 
User Rank: Light Beer
4/29/2014 | 12:17:15 PM
neutron plugin for Open Contrail
Juniper OpenContrail plugin for Neutron has been rejected by the OpenStack community. It does not covers the unit tests available and its CI (continues Integration) system is not publishing results of the operational tests against the controller. I was wondering the plugin for ODL will be in the same status!! 
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/21/2014 | 6:20:21 PM
Re: Code
sam masud - "BTW: Really like the outfit "Mitch" is wearing in the picture :-)"

Thanks. It's a good look for me. Helps me stand out at conferences. 
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/21/2014 | 6:18:33 PM
Re: Code
Dan - Seems like they're out of wait-and-see mode and are warming up to OpenDaylight. 
sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/21/2014 | 2:08:18 PM
Re: Code

I would think the plugin is also common to the commercial version of Juniper's SDN controller since that and OpenContrail both have the same code base. Good move because Juniper would obviously want its controllers to work with an ODP controller.


BTW: Really like the outfit "Mitch" is wearing in the picture :-)

User Rank: Blogger
4/21/2014 | 11:05:24 AM
When Juniper released the open source version of its controller last fall, it sounded like it was leaving to door open to contribute code to OpenDaylight--I'm guessing that hasn't happened. Juniper has been in a wait-and-see mode on OpenDaylight for a while. How much longer can it stay in that mode?
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