Industry Solutions and Trends
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In this blog we discuss the integration of Juniper devices with the New Relic analytics platform.

 

The growing complexity of networks makes it difficult to provide visibility of what is happening across the entire infrastructure. It is extremely important to know the performance, resource utilization, and health of network devices. This helps with preventing outages, troubleshooting issues, and performing network planning. An efficient analytics platform helps in performing all these tasks seamlessly.

 

New Relic is an analytics platform that makes sense of billions of data points, millions of applications and servers in real time. Tens of thousands of customers use the New Relic cloud solution every day, looking to optimize more than 200 billion data points for three million application instances. When the brand and customer experience depend on the performance of modern software, New Relic can help to provide valuable insights into the overall environment.

 

New Relic’s technology, delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, monitors applications or servers in real-time. The analytics platform uses built-in agents to collect performance metrics from applications and servers. The platform also provides infrastructure to store and aggregate collected metrics, and trends them in graphs and tables on presentable dashboards. The trends are important for understanding how applications and servers behave in real time and to isolate potential problems. The diagram below depicts New Relic’s analytics infrastructure:

                          Ree.png                                                                                                                            

                                                                                

1 – New Relic agents running on premises collect and send application and server specific metrics

2 – New Relic agents send metrics to the New Relic analytics platform hosted in the cloud

3 – The New Relic account holder logs into the New Relic cloud portal and views application and equipment performance trends

 

New Relic doesn’t restrict analytics data collection to built-in agents; it also supports third-party plugins that can use JSON over HTTPS to send collected metrics to the New Relic analytics platform. The metrics sent to the New Relic must be key-value pairs. For example, for monitoring CPU and memory statistics of a server, the JSON messages sent to New Relic would look similar to this:

 

"metrics" : {

   "Component/Server/CPU [Percentage]”: {

       “total”: 25,

       "count”: 1,

       "min”: 10,

       "max”: 15,

       "sum_of_squares”: 325

   },

   "Component/Server/Memory [MB]”: {

       “total”: 50,

       "count”: 1,

       "min”: 10,

       "max”: 60,

       "sum_of_squares”: 2500

   }

}

 

Once a plugin starts reporting metrics to the New Relic platform, the metric key paths appear in the dashboard and the user can create tables and charts to understand how the metrics behave over time.

 

Juniper Networks has developed a new plugin for New Relic to collect metrics from Juniper devices such as the EX Series and QFX Series switches and the MX Series routers. The plugin sends the collected metrics up to the New Relic cloud using JSON over HTTPS.

 

The Juniper plugin for New Relic uses NETCONF to communicate with the Juniper devices. NETCONF is an IETF standard protocol (RFC6241) for configuring and retrieving operational state from network devices. All Juniper Networks routers, switches, and security gateways running the Junos operating system support NETCONF with consistent data models. See http://www.juniper.net/documentation/en_US/junos13.2/information-products/pathway-pages/netconf-guid... for more details on NETCONF support in Junos (the operating system for Juniper devices)

 

The plugin has been implemented in Python. Internally it uses the open source Py-Junos-Eznc library which provides a high-level abstraction of the NETCONF interface. For more information on Py-Junos-Eznc see https://github.com/Juniper/py-junos-eznc.

 

Juniper has open sourced the agent on Github at https://github.com/Juniper/juniper-newrelic-plugin using a permissive Apache 2.0 license. For installation of plugin, see installation.txt in Github.The plugin can be installed using the following PIP command:

                                             pip install $path/jnpr_nr_plugin-1.0.0.tar.gz                        

 

The plugin periodically polls Juniper devices and collects various statistics. The collected metrics include routing engine statistics (for instance memory and CPU utilization) and physical interface statistics (for instance bytes-in, bytes-out, errors-in, errors-out). The table below depicts the metrics collected by the plugin and the corresponding New Relic key paths:

 

Metrics Type

NR Path

Interface

Component/interface/bytes/rx/$itf_name[bytes/sec]

Component/interface/packets/rx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/unicast/rx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/multicast/rx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/broadcast/rx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/errors/rx/$itf_name[errors/sec]

Component/interface/bytes/tx/$itf_name[bytes/sec]

Component/interface/packets/tx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/unicast/tx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/multicast/tx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/broadcast/tx/$itf_name[pkts/sec]

Component/interface/errors/tx/$itf_name[errors/sec]

Component/interface/state/admin/up

Component/interface/state/admin/down

Component/interface/state/operation/up

Component/interface/state/operation/down

Routing Engine

Component/re/cpu/load_average_five/$re_mastership_state[load]

Component/re/cpu/background/$re_mastership_state[percent]

Component/re/cpu/system/$re_mastership_state[percent]

Component/re/cpu/user/$re_mastership_state[percent]

Component/re/cpu/interrupt/$re_mastership_state[percent]

Component/re/used/$re_mastership_state[percent]

Component/re/temperature/$re_mastership_state[degree]

Component/re/memory/$re_mastership_state[percent]

 

 

 

$itf_name : name of interface.

$re_mastership_state: Master or Backup

 

Device level metrics are available for interface statistics at path Component/summary/interface/$metric_name/rx or tx[unit] where metric_name = bytes, packets, unicast, multicast, broadcast and errors

 

It is very easy to get the plugin up and running, using a simple configuration that includes New Relic license key, the device credentials, and the poll time.  As soon as the plugin starts reporting device metrics to the New Relic analytics platform, the user can login to his or her New Relic account to view the reported metrics. The picture below depicts routing engine CPU utilization and interface packet in/out rate in New Relic UI.

33.png

 44.png

One plugin instance can manage approximately 50 devices, with 48 physical ports each. For large networks, it is advisable to spawn multiple plugin instances, with each instance managing up to 50 devices.

 

The plugin supports Linux platforms and has been tested with Centos 6.4 and Python 2.7.8

 

For more information on New Relic see www.newrelic.com

 

 

Learn how Juniper's multi-chassis core router architecture provides superior fault isolation compared to the competition.

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The Airbender: 24Tbps@12kW and 8Tbps@5kW Core Routers

by Juniper Employee ‎04-13-2015 04:53 PM - edited ‎04-14-2015 11:42 AM

While attending OFC two weeks ago, I found myself in quite a few meetings discussing “Are physical routers even needed anymore?” “Is hardware dead and everything will be SDN?” Meanwhile, in the Juniper booth stood the world’s most powerful core router on the planet, the PTX5000 supporting 24Tbps of capacity and the PTX3000 supporting 8Tbps of capacity effortlessly whirling air over this mind-boggling performance.

 

I was wondering if they realized the gravity of the questions. As the head of product management at Juniper for core router, Packet Optical, and the WAN SDN controller, the predication of hardware’s impending demise is a topic that interests me greatly. In a world that continues to march forward with technological advancements, we easily may take for granted the engineering marvels all around us. Juniper’s engineering team push the boundaries of what was thought was impossible, and made it possible by taking a holistic architecture approach to building the most powerful, efficient, greenest and deployable core routers.

 

I would like share some insights about how we built a 24Tbps capable core routers with the PTX5000, 5 times more efficient than comparable solutions in the market; and the 8Tbps capable PTX3000, 91% smaller vs. the nearest competitor.

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Juniper Aruba Campus Solution.PNGTogether Juniper and Aruba simplify how enterprise customers manage their Juniper + Aruba campus enterprise network. With the recent release of Junos Space Network Director 2.0 and Aruba's AirWave Management Suite 8.0.7, customers can cross launch Network Director from within Airwave. This introduces a new level of flexibility allowing you to efficiently choose the best tool for the job: manage and troubleshoot Juniper Ethernet switches from Network Director or Aruba wireless access points from AirWave. 

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When you ask 10 people what is Packet Optical Convergence, you may get 20 different answers. In my view, it’s an opportunity to drive network simplification via cross layer visibility thus achieving maximized efficiency.

 

Let me get started with a story I learned many years ago. When Routers were first introduced to COs, there was a lot of resistance. Back then it was against the “fan less operation” rule. After many long debates, a common ground was established and Routers were deployed in COs. In order to make all parties comfortable, a wall was built in the room separating the traditional equipment from the Routers, a hole was opened in the wall for cabling to be passed and the worlds were connected. The wall was there for many years until it was finally torn down. 

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On March 11th Juniper Networks announced multiple new innovations around scaling the PTX core router, a new range of high density data centre switches and enhancements to our security products. Much of the coverage of these announcements was product centric, so in a world where a lot of the industry buzz is around new areas such as SDN, virtualisation and service agility you may be left thinking “so what?”

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Juniper engineers designed the PTX5000 router that takes Cisco 5 full racks of their platforms to match.  Alternatively, Juniper can deliver the same capacity as Cisco's flagship router in the PTX3000, a product 91% smaller.  Watch Jonathan Davidson, EVP of Juniper Development and Innovation, explain just how Juniper Networks has revolutionized routing… again. 

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Juniper Networks Live Demo's at MPLS & SDN World Congress

by Juniper Employee ‎03-16-2015 03:04 AM - edited ‎03-16-2015 03:10 AM

The time of SDN/NFV hype is past. Sure, you will still come across exaggerated claims that the cure to all your networking challenges is just a click away but the nature of the conversation has fundamentally changed. It's now grounded in fact; no longer does it reside in that other virtual world - namely PowerPoint. It's now a regular occurrence to hear of a service provider publishing news of a virtualisation strategy or an agreement to embark on a trial.

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NorthStar Controller at the MPLS/SDN World Congress

by Juniper Employee ‎03-12-2015 04:08 AM - edited ‎03-15-2015 12:19 PM

See a live demo of NorthStar on our exhibition booth!

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As a super fan, I see Star Wars everywhere: on my phone, the background on my desktop—even my pets are named after Star Wars characters. The movie franchise has even followed me to Juniper, where our engineering organization is known as Juniper Development and Innovation—JDI for short, but we refer to it as “Jedi.” I was recently joking with a colleague, “Now that we are Jedi, we’re going to provide a new hope for our customers.”

 

In fact, I even see a parallel between Star Wars and the plight of service providers, who are facing a drastic rise in the amount and unpredictability of traffic while trying to retain or grow wallet share that is deteriorating due to the declining cost of Internet connectivity. In my mind, this is analogous to the Rebel Alliance facing the reconstruction of a second Death Star (the modern-day Death Star for service providers, of course, being the second wave of Internet growth fueled by mobile, video, and cloud applications).

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Why the network is critical to cloud success

by ann.rote@gtt.net ‎03-02-2015 07:31 AM - edited ‎03-03-2015 02:04 AM

This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Ann Rote, Director, Global Marketing GTT. These views are her own and in no way do they represent the views of the company she works for.

 

It is certainly no secret that cloud solutions have become an integral part of how companies do business today and they continue to grow in importance. For enterprises, implementing cloud services this can help reduce costs, boost productivity and improve efficiency. To gain maximum benefits from available cloud ‘utilities’, enterprises should explore the security and reliability of private networking as the means of connecting to the various cloud options.

 

Many organizations deploy a hybrid cloud model which allows it to distribute workloads between private and public clouds. This provides the ability to dynamically consume and deliver cloud utilities and services from multiple platforms allowing the modern enterprise to remain agile. In turn, enterprises are putting greater focus on the network that connects the various cloud components together. By making the hybrid cloud architecture part of the corporate WAN, private networks play a critical role in the solution. Using a private network allows for a more flexible interconnection between cloud platforms and ensures application performance and security across a shared network fabric.

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Are you a risk-averse? Use virtualization!

by Juniper Employee ‎01-30-2015 12:59 AM - edited ‎01-30-2015 01:17 AM

Using virtualization to reduce the business risks of launching new services

 

Launching a new service by the telecommunication industry (as in many other sectors) is not an easy task: it requires a lot of research and planning in order to make sure the huge investment is safe. 

 

          9153396554_58a54e1347_h.jpg  

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For decades telecom carriers invested billions of dollars in building out massive networks to serve millions of customers. The economics were simple and certain. And lucrative. A captive customer base was guaranteed and so was the pricing.

 

The industry changed with the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 and similar deregulation laws around the world. According to the FCC, “the goal of [the] new law [was] to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other.” Frightening words to any monopoly incumbent. New entrants and new technologies have been chipping away at the carrier business ever since. For wireless carriers that have launched post-deregulation, the seminal moment occurs when subscriber penetration becomes saturated and the easy growth stops. But the problems for wireline and wireless carriers are similar. The “build it and they will come” business model is cracking.

 

But 18 years on, most incumbent telcos are still stable businesses generating billions of dollars of cash flow every year even though prices of legacy communications services are decreasing and more nimble competitors who grew up with the Internet can out-maneuver them. This apparent paradox is explained by the fact that telcos retain some important competitive advantages; notably, the carrier grade performance and security that comes with owning the network. The carrier economic advantage is more nuanced. Massive installed networks generate significant barriers to entry and high gross margins, but they also create the rigidity that comes with a huge balance sheet.

 

In this context, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), or more broadly, Network Virtualization (NV), along with Software Defined Networking (SDN), have arrived as putative saviors of the industry. The potential economic benefits of NV & SDN are fairly well known, but not yet proven:

  1. Lower OpEx and CapEx - Automation of key processes, increased use of off the shelf hardware, etc.
  2. Increased revenues - New services, more nimble service development, improved customer experience, etc.

This common view is incomplete. NV & SDN can transform the carrier business model, but only in concert with purpose built infrastructure. The trick is to get the agility advantages of virtualization, while maintaining the economies of scale advantages of purpose-built networks based on customized hardware and silicon. Complex deployment decisions must be untangled from two perspectives: economic/service and technical/architecture.

 

Ideally carriers employ flexible virtualized platforms to experiment with new services, new partners, new geographies, or changing customer tastes. Virtual platforms may also be more appropriate to serve small business customers. Then carriers can shift traffic to dedicated infrastructure better suited to handle the capacity demands of a “successful” service. Virtualized infrastructure can be scaled in and out and moved around in the network to handle peak loads. Carriers can dynamically shift back and forth between low risk, variable cost business models and the legacy model based on high margins and operating leverage. New services are quickly spun up at low cost and just as importantly, easily and cheaply retired as necessary. Proven services continue to be the engine of cash flow, but rapidly deployed new services ensure survival.

 

Similar analyses can be performed from a technical/architectural perspective. Virtualization makes sense in some parts of the networks, such as in the access layer, compute and storage functions, or moderate bandwidth applications, but not in others, such as the IP core.

 

Juniper offers carrier-grade virtual platforms and proven, dedicated architectures to handle the elasticity needed for uncertain, moderate throughput applications and the scale and performance needed for high volume applications. We are uniquely qualified to help carriers navigate the complex questions along NV/SDN journey regarding the optimal timing of investments, virtual-to-dedicated solution migration (and vice versa), and the circumstances under which carriers should deploy virtual routers vs. a conventional big box router.

The Zero-Down Time DC Migration. You Can Do It, Too

by Juniper Employee ‎01-15-2015 03:04 AM - edited ‎01-15-2015 03:06 AM

Here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Let’s say you run a hosting company. And naturally you want to grow. Fast. More customers, more connections, more cloud. You want to differentiate yourself by offering the greatest possible flexibility and security, whilst guaranteeing data privacy for your customers. This was not a hypothetical situation for SW Hosting. This dynamic young company based in Spain was poised to grow. After analyzing the market they knew that a Juniper Networks MetaFabric Architecture was what they needed from a technical standpoint, but there were still SWHosting logo.pnglots of questions about how to actually go about doing it. So they turned to Juniper Networks Professional Services to provide the skills and resources to work with their own engineers towards a single goal: the success of the project.

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Disruption is often a challenge to large incumbent businesses, but the change also brings huge opportunities for new businesses. Within this context, SDN and NFV provide a massive opportunity for small service providers to step up and become a global super power. But how may this happen?

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