Juniper Networks launches Infranet Initiative

Juniper Networks is seeking industry-wide support for an initiative that would establish a unified set of standards for packet-based communications.

At the Telecom World conference and exhibition in Geneva, Juniper announced Wednesday its Infranet Initiative, calling on telecommunication service providers, vendors and standards bodies to agree to a single framework for accessing networks and interconnecting them between carriers.

The goal, said Juniper founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Pradeep Sindhu, is to create a public network that combines the ubiquitous connectivity of the Internet with the assured performance and security of a private network.

Juniper envisages an infranet as a set of interlinked IP (Internet Protocol) VPNs (virtual private networks) that provide secure authenticated access and encrypted tunnels over an IP/MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching ) transport infrastructure.

Such an infrastructure, according to Sindhu, would support grid computing.

What's missing today, he said, are three important components: security, reliability and quality. The problem is that the industry is too fragmented, with competing companies supporting their own networking efforts.

"This isn't an anti-Cisco (Systems Inc.) initiative," Sindhu said. "We would absolutely welcome them to participate." Standards, he added, will result in a larger market for everyone, as it has with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications).

The initiative has already gained support from Lucent Technologies Inc. and Norwegian carrier Telenor ASA, according to Sindhu.

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