Juniper broadens SDN for carriers

Juniper Networks this week at Mobile World Congress is expanding its carrier SDN portfolio with controller and management products designed to accelerate customized service creation and provisioning.

The new products include hardware and software intended to automate and scale network operations, and create new services by programming the service provider network to conduct painstaking tasks that usually require time-consuming manual intervention. The Juniper offerings will compete with Cisco's new Evolved Services Platform, a virtualization and orchestration software platform designed to create, automate and provision services in real time across compute, storage and network functions, and enable service providers to deliver customized service experiences regardless of how subscribers are connected to the network -- fixed, mobile, Wi-Fi, etc. (See all the stories and products that are coming out of the Mobile World Congress show.)

+ MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Juniper unveils new operating plan to accelerate growth | Enterprise SDN use lags that of service providers +

For automation, Juniper unveiled Junos Fusion, software designed to control thousands of Juniper and multivendor network elements from a single management plane. Junos Fusion is intended to reduce network complexity and operational costs by collapsing those underlying transport elements into a single point of control from the Juniper MX or PTX routing platforms.

Junos Fusion supports NETCONF and YANG interfaces for integration of third-party elements and extensions to SDN controllers, such as Juniper's Contrail controller. Junos Fusion will be available in the second quarter.

For scale, Juniper rolled out another SDN controller: NorthStar. NorthStar is designed to identify the optimal path within a multivendor network based on operator-defined performance and cost requirements. It supports MPLS and the Path Computational Element Protocol (PCEP) for interaction with transport networks, and incorporates Juniper's recently acquired WANDL analytics and modeling technology to help determine the most cost-effective and optimal route through a network.  

NorthStar is an infrastructure controller while Contrail is a network services controller, Juniper says. NorthStar will be available in the second half of the year.

Juniper is also introducing a 1Tbps line card to enhance the scalability of its PTX router. Available in the second quarter, the new line cards double the PTX router's per-slot capacity. Each 1Tbps line card has two physical interface cards (PIC). Currently, the PIC options are 4x100G, 12x40G, or 48x10G.

For service creation, Juniper is unveiling the CSE2000 Carrier Services Engine, a purpose-built, NEBS-compliant x86 server for hosting virtualized network functions that usually reside on the router. It is designed to optimize service location based on performance and cost requirements.

The CSE2000 is available now.

Juniper also added software to its MX router intended to customize services for subscribers. Junos Video Focus, Junos Subscriber Aware, Junos Application Aware and Junos Policy Control allow service providers to use the MX as a Service Control Gateway (SCG) to customize service experiences based on who is using the network and what they are using it for.

These SCG functions will be available in mid-2014.

Juniper says service providers can use these new capabilities with the Contrail controller to implement Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and provision new services, adapt to changing business needs, and create different service experiences and service chains for different subscribers,  and charge accordingly.

Juniper did not disclose pricing for any of the new products.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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