SDN architectures

Juniper Opens SDN, Clouds OpenDaylight

Juniper Networks launched its latest salvo in the SDN market battle Monday by announcing that its Contrail SDN controller is production ready, and that it is releasing an open-source version, as well as its own commercial recipe. (See: Juniper Rolls Out Contrail SDN Solution.)

During a webinar presentation Monday morning, Bob Muglia, executive vice president of the software solutions division at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), described the Contrail SDN controller as an overlay solution that will work with orchestration solutions such as OpenStack and CloudStack. Juniper has also has forged a partnership with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to integrate Contrail with the IT giant's SmartCloud orchestration system.

Juniper said more details of its own commercial platform would be forthcoming. "Contrail doesn't require Juniper equipment, but we'll explain this fall how it can be better on Juniper equipment," Muglia said. Juniper's announcement of an open-source version of the Contrail solution was largely driven by input it received from its dozens of beta customers and partners, some of which wanted to do their own development around it, he said.

The release of an open-source version no doubt will further spice up the already lively debate around how open SDN should be and what path that openness should take. Juniper is part of the industrywide OpenDaylight effort, but it's unclear how its own open-source move could affect its involvement in that group.

"Open Contrail is our own effort at open-source, and we feel having a number of different open-source SDN solutions out there is OK," Muglia said on the webinar, further describing OpenDaylight as a framework that is still coming together. "We'll see over time what challenges [OpenDaylight] can solve. With things like OpenStack, regardless of which open-source SDN solution a customer chooses, it will work in the broader environment." Juniper wants to contribute its open-source code to OpenDaylight "as appropriate."

Juniper also outlined enterprise and service provider use cases for the Contrail solution, with the service provider case emphasizing dynamic service chaining. Muglia said SDN will be just as important outside the datacenter as it is inside, because service providers are striving to be as agile as Internet giants such as Amazon and Google.

Since it first outlined its SDN strategy in January, Juniper has kept up a near-constant chatter. (See: Juniper's SDN Will Build Service Chains, Juniper's SDN Jumps Into Cloudscaling, and Juniper & Sonus Try SDN Together.)

This week's news followed a series of beta experiences the company announced in May with large enterprises and service providers. (See: Juniper Intros SDN Controller.)

The vendor previously accelerated the rollout date for the Contrail controller from 2014 to this year, and it indicated that it expects SDN to be a notable revenue contributor starting next year. (See: Juniper Eyes SDN Sales, CEO Steps Down.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet & SDN Expo, a Light Reading Live event that takes place Oct. 2-3, 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City. Co-located with Interop, Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo will focus on how the convergence of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 with emerging carrier software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization technologies could change the whole telecom landscape for service providers. For more information, or to register, click here.

DOShea 9/21/2013 | 12:50:56 PM
Re: Credit where credit is due Although, my second question--which I think is what Atlantis-dude is hinting at, too--assumes Juniper does follow through with contributing its work to OpenDaylight, and remains a member in the long run.
DOShea 9/21/2013 | 12:33:40 PM
Re: Credit where credit is due You probably have a clearer view of this--do you think other OpenDaylighters are annoyed? Could this be seen as Juniper trying to make sure its work moves to the top of OpenDaylight's considerations?
Atlantis-dude 9/17/2013 | 2:34:12 PM
Was Juniper forced to do this ? Given the mindshare that OpenDaylight has gathered ?
Craig Matsumoto 9/17/2013 | 12:02:27 PM
Re: Credit where credit is due (My user rank is "Light Beer"???  OK, clearly I've got some work to do here....)
Craig Matsumoto 9/17/2013 | 12:01:15 PM
Re: Credit where credit is due Thanks, Dan!

The open-sourcing strategy is an interesting one, and theoretically a good way to gain quick mindshare. But you need developers first. Without them, all you're doing is leaving software lying around the room for people to pick up.

OpenDaylight has a ready-made pool of developers, since it's sponsored by some huge percentage of the vendors.  Contrail doesn't.

But I can see why Juniper did this now -- the software was ready, and they probably didn't want to wait for OpenDaylight, which is still working on its first release. 
DOShea 9/16/2013 | 3:00:58 PM
Credit where credit is due From the live audience of the webinar, it was former LR editor Craig Matsumoto who asked the incisive question that prompted Muglia's comments about OpenDaylight.
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