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At Juniper’s NXTWORK 2017, the overarching theme was simplicity; but Juniper acknowledges that achieving network simplicity is complex. Juniper’s leadership said that while we can’t get rid of complexity, we can shift it, and the company’s new “obsession” is to shift the burden of complexity from the customer to Juniper. To do this, Juniper is evolving Contrail into a platform that will address the complexity found in the multi-cloud environment.

Contrail: now more than just an SDN controller

Service providers and enterprises want to move workloads and applications into the cloud, but doing so is a complex undertaking, and the business risk of migrating to multiple clouds often hinders network virtualization adoption. To tackle the complexity of multi-cloud, Juniper announced Contrail Enterprise Multicloud, which takes the Contrail SDN controller for overlay management and bundles it with support for underlay, including physical networking components, to create a unified multi-cloud management platform. The intent of the repackaged Contrail is to “engineer simplicity” and abstract the complexity away from the customer.

Earlier in November Juniper also announced enhancements made to its Contrail Provider Cloud solution, which enables communication service providers (CSPs) to realize operational and business benefits by cloudifying their infrastructure and architecture for telco cloud. Since multi-cloud is quickly becoming the deployment environment of choice for communication service providers, Ovum thinks these announcements and new message will resonate well with Juniper’s CSP and enterprise customers. Also, with Contrail Enterprise Multicloud, Juniper is now positioned to compete directly with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and VMware’s NSX cloud management platforms.

Juniper believes in open

As virtualization continues to add complexity to networks, CSPs now view open source as a requirement for core operational platforms: in order to achieve faster, easier network orchestration and automation, the CSPs need vendors, application developers, and cloud providers to work together. Proving that Juniper understands this requirement, the next big announcement at NXTWORK 2017 was that the company is moving OpenContrail, its open source project, to the Linux Foundation.

The company open sourced Contrail code in 2013, but did not have significant traction around its initiative compared to other open source projects. Moving to the Linux Foundation signals the company’s intent to become a more active contributor and collaborator in the industry’s largest open community and Juniper has invited the community to help build “the best multi-cloud future together.”


Further reading

2018 Trends to Watch: NFV/SDN Technology, SPT002-000007 (November 2017)

CSPs form strategic alliances with cloud providers to accelerate NFV, TE0006-001436 (September 2017)


Stephanie Gibbons, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks

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