Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) has introduced the concept of Cloud-Grade Networking and backed it with new capabilities, such as Junos Node Slicing and a Universal Chassis, that the company believes will help customers more easily create cloud networks. The approach merges telemetry, automation, and machine learning as well as ease of use.
Cloud-Grade Networking encompasses four principles:
- a platform-first approach
- a Self-Driving Network
- pervasive software-defined security.
The approach emphasizes efficiency and flexibility. For example, Junos Node Slicing enables operators to run multiple services or instances on the same router, each with a separate administrative domain. The maximum number of such partitions depends on the hardware platform involved, according to Donyel Jones-Williams, director of product marketing at Juniper. Meanwhile, the Universal Chassis supports disaggregation by enabling network operators to plug in new line cards to create new members of the company's PTX packet transport router (the PTX10008 and PTX10016) and QFX data center network switch (the QFX10008 and QFX10016) families. The company also plans to make available MX Series cards for the chassis at a future point in time Jones-Williams declined to reveal. The Universal Chassis approach was inspired by webscale service provider requirements and enables the same hardware framework to be used in multiple parts of the network, with the mix of network performance features determined by the line cards installed.
To help enable the Self-Driving Network concept, Juniper Networks also has upgraded its NorthStar SDN controller with support for Source Packet Routing in Networking (SPRING) capabilities. The controller also supports real-time stream telemetry via the Junos Telemetry Interface (JTI) and offers real-time traffic visualization, trending, and optimizing.
Finally the company also has announced new professional services to help customers deploy cloud networks. One provides continuous network infrastructure integration to automate design, test, deployment, and audit of network environments. The other enables event-driven network automation, which Juniper Networks says enables network workflows to more easily merge with the rest of IT workflows.
Junos Node Slicing, the cards needed to create the PTX10008 and QFX Universal Chassis, the NorthStar Controller enhancements, and the new professional services are currently available. Jones-Williams says that customers have already begun to use at least some of the new capabilities. The company offered a quote from one network operator as part of the Cloud-Grade Networking announcement.
"Our customers are looking for instant, reliable and flexible access to network services regardless of where they are. Cloud-Grade Networking will help organizations define the ideal cloud environment that will enable their network to run intelligently and cost effectively in the cloud, which is very important to us," said Keiichi Makizono, senior vice president, SoftBank Corp., via a Juniper Networks press release. "As SoftBank continues to focus on utilizing AI, Self-Driving Network concept allows us to take advantage of the company's high-scale automation products and its concept to predict operational needs and improve our overall responsiveness and agility."
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