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Juniper Networks Contrail Enhances Capabilities to Cater to a Wide Range of Cloud Customer Use Cases
Apr 25, 2016

When Juniper acquired Contrail Systems in late 2012, it was to solve the networking and scalability challenges that were prevalent in customers’ cloud environments. Since then, the Juniper Contrail team has been tirelessly focused on winning a wide range of cloud customers (Cloud Service Providers, SaaS companies, Enterprises and Telecom operators) and creating product features and capabilities that enable them to run their cloud networks at scale. This week at the OpenStack Summit, we are excited to announce the latest set of enhancements to the Juniper Networks® Contrail  product line – one that, we believe, will take this market-leading product to the next level and will help customers derive tremendous value from their technology investments.


Contrail Networking, Juniper’s software defined networking (SDN) and cloud software offering, delivers an open-source cloud network automation solution for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to build large-scale SaaS clouds, for enterprises making a transition from traditional environments to new cloud environments, and for service providers to build scalable and carrier-grade Telco clouds that span geographies while seamlessly running network and security functions with greater performance and resiliency Additionally, thanks to our continued relationship with OpenStack and its thriving collaborative community, our platform also supports and leverages OpenStack APIs for cloud orchestration and network automation, which provides further support to customers who are increasingly looking at open-source alternatives to build secure, agile, highly-available and automated cloud environments.


Contrail runs cloud networks for some of the world’s largest SaaS companies, enterprises and telecom operators, such as Workday, Lithium Technologies, Symantec, CloudWatt, NTTi3, and Orange, to name a few. Last year, we wrote about AT&T’s adoption of Contrail Networking to manage their integrated cloud infrastructure. At previous OpenStack Summits, we’ve held panel discussions and joint customer sessions to illustrate how some of the leading SaaS companies and telecom operators have adopted Contrail and how it is solving their cloud networking challenges. We’re also especially proud of the fact that OpenContrail has been named the number one commercially available SDN controller in the OpenStack User Survey for the third time in a row. We plan to continue sharing our customer success stories and highlighting the customer challenges that Juniper is helping to solve.


With a wide range of customers comes a wide variety of customer use cases. In today’s cloud environments, workloads need to straddle hypervisors, orchestrators and compute vehicles (bare metal servers, virtual machines, namespaces and containers). Workloads also need seamless network connectivity between racks in a data center and multiple data centers, as well as between private & public clouds, legacy environments and customer branch offices. So, the requirement often requested by our customers is the ability to provide a networking “glue” that can seamlessly bridge and interconnect these multiple heterogeneous environments and enable use cases, such as Legacy Interconnect, Physical + Virtual Interconnect, Multi-Data Center Distributed Cloud, Physical + Virtual Service Chaining, Hybrid Cloud and Software Defined WAN (Wide Area Network) or virtual CPE (virtual Customer Premises Equipment).


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Contrail Networking enables many of these use cases for our customers and with the latest enhancements, we believe that we have taken a huge leap towards comprehensively covering all of these requirements. And, best of all, Contrail Networking enables all of this in an open-source manner and with the use of standard protocols and APIs, which allows interoperability in a multi-vendor environment and avoids a vendor lock-in approach. So, what does this mean for our customers?


Container support for Cloud Service Providers and SaaS companies to transition to microservices:

Contrail Networking enables Docker and container networking for its customers by providing network segmentation, which means that customers can  create virtual networks and add different Docker containers to different virtual networks. Additionally, Contrail Networking can now integrate with container cluster management systems, such as Kubernetes, and enables users to create network segmentation across Kubernetes ‘pods’. These pods, identified by Kubernetes ‘labels’, can run microservices within, and  Contrail Networking can effectively provide the required network segmentation.


Bare Metal Server and VMware vCenter Integration for Enterprise migration:

Contrail Networking enables customers to interconnect with their legacy environments, which may run bare metal servers and/or VMware vCenter workloads. This means that customers can avoid costly overhauls of their infrastructure, which  involve removing and replacing installed hardware. Contrail Networking previously offered the ability to extend virtual networks to bare metal servers by managing ports on Top-of-Rack (TOR) switches and creating bridge domains. With the latest enhancements, Contrail Networking offers the capability called ‘vCenter as an OpenStack compute’, enabling OpenStack to spawn virtual machines in a vCenter environment, by allowing Nova to redirect appropriate API calls to the vCenter environment, and then providing the associated networking to extend the OpenStack virtual networks to a vCenter environment.


Enhanced Service Chaining capabilities for Telecom Operators:

Service Chaining is one of the key features for telecom operators, because it enables the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) use case. Contrail Networking currently supports dynamic scale-out service chaining capabilities. With the latest enhancements, customers will have access to several rich sets of service chaining features that allow:

  • P+V Service Chaining: The ability to create hybrid service chains by mixing physical and virtual network functions in the same service chain. This enables customers to use their existing base of physical network functions and add virtualized functions where appropriate.
  • IPv6 Service Chaining: The ability to add IPv6 services in a service chain. With the shortage of IPv4 and the massive deployment of IPv6 specifically in fixed and mobile broadband, the support of IPv6 is key for most residential and mobile service providers.
  • Policy-Based Service Chaining: The ability to have multiple service chains across two virtual networks and define policies to steer traffic to one or the other. This allows different treatment of different types of traffic.
  • Service Chain Health Monitoring: The ability to allow more advanced health monitoring of service chains. This monitors the operational health of a service itself, and not just the condition of the virtual machine that is running the service.
  • Service Chain Failover: The ability to set up multiple service chains across two different distributed data centers and switch from one to the other in case of a failure(s), thereby delivering a disaster recovery option.

Juniper Networks today also announced several breakthrough additions to its cloud and virtualized service offerings as part of its Software-Defined Secure Networks (SDSN) framework, including a compact and containerized virtual firewall namely Juniper Networks® cSRX, and a multi-core version of its virtual firewall namely Juniper Networks® vSRX. Juniper Networks will be showcasing its products at OpenStack Summit 2016 in Austin, Texas, from April 25-29, 2016.


Forward-Looking Statements

This blog contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of assumptions, uncertainties and risks including, among other things, statements concerning Juniper Networks' prospects, future products, product availability and performance, cost savings, and other benefits to customers. Actual results or events could differ materially from those anticipated in those forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including delays in scheduled product availability, incompatibility of technologies, the company's failure to accurately predict emerging technological trends, and other factors listed in Juniper Networks’ most recent report on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements made in this blog are made only as of the date of this blog indicated above. Juniper Networks undertakes no obligation to update the information in this blog in the event facts or circumstances subsequently change after the date of this blog. Any future product, feature, enhancement or related specification that may be referenced are for information purposes only, are subject to change at any time without notice and are not commitments to deliver any future product, feature, enhancement or related specification. The information contained in this blog is intended to outline Juniper Networks’ general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision.