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
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