Juniper Employee , Juniper Employee Juniper Employee
“Open” is the New Normal: “Cloudifying” Your Environment with Contrail
Sep 10, 2015

I truly believe we are in the midst of a drastic Information and Communications Technology (ICT) transformation.  Looking back, I'm amazed at how revolutionary the pace of change has been over the last several years, leading to some radical innovations.


Like what?  Well, in short, I'm talking about “openness.”  About opening up your network.  Opening up your products.  Opening up…everything.  These days, we probably hear the word “open” more than “Kardashian” — which is saying something.


Everything in ICT is open these days, primarily because customers are demanding it.  Moore's Law no longer applies to the ICT industry; the pace of innovation is unprecedented, and time-to-market has been greatly reduced as customers demand the flexibility to scale their infrastructure up and down and spin up new services on demand.


This new age of openness has made closed and proprietary ICT offerings a thing of the past — relics of a bygone era.  Now, “open” is the new normal.



Don't Forget Your Network

An open environment offers tremendous flexibility, which means your ICT, data center and/or cloud environment can morph and evolve along with the industry and available technology.


Examples are all around us.  Take OpenStack and containers, for instance.  I truly believe that OpenStack has greatly accelerated the adoption of cloud, and containers will take the cloud to the next level.


But in our rush to embrace the cloud, let's not forget about the network.  In order to take advantage of all these cloud-based innovations, enabled by OpenStack and/or containers, we must first establish secure networks to communicate.  The network is like our circulatory system; we cannot live without it, and it must be healthy and fully functioning.


At the same time, however, we also want networking technologies to be “open.”  OpenStack has done a great job opening up the network in the form of Neutron and its API.



How ‘Bout That Contrail!

A while ago, I wrote about the leading networking drivers within OpenStack Neutron (based on a survey conducted by an OpenStack Superuser).  It turns out, Superuser ranked Juniper Contrail the highest SDN solution among the other commercially backed controllers.


Well, Contrail has done it again.  This time, the report is based on a study conducted by Canada's Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN). 


The study asked CENGN student interns from Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa to choose and deploy their best SDN solution using an OpenStack Neutron plugin for a secure multi-tenancy initiative based on criteria such as maturity, open source, and support availability, to name a few.  Contrail was one of the options, and how it stacked up against the competition can be seen clearly in the results graph (see below).  

 CENGN Plugin Selection.jpg


Let's take a look at some of the selection criteria and see how Contrail did.


Maturity?  Check!  Contrail has been commercially available for two years.


Open source?  Check!!  Contrail is based on an open source project, OpenContrail.  The Apache-2.0 licensed OpenContrail project allows all participants in the ecosystem (customers, partners, users, operators, and academia) to contribute to the ecosystem.


Support availability?  Check!!!  The OpenContrail project clearly demonstrates Juniper's commitment to open ecosystems and differentiates Juniper from the competition.  Contrail, a by-product of the OpenContrail project, is fully supported by Juniper's great engineering forces. 


This CENGN study validates the results of the OpenStack Superuser survey, which ranked Juniper Contrail so high.  Even better news for users, since Contrail is an open-source product, all documentation, architectural information and source code can be downloaded from the OpenContrail website!



Final Thoughts and Thank You

I truly believe that Juniper is one of the drivers of the ICT industry transformation.  I thank those student interns at Algonquin College and University of Ottawa for validating and showcasing the strength of our open source community, OpenContrail, and Contrail as a leading SDN solution.


Mic Drop 2.jpg


Find out more about OpenContrail project:

Download Contrail source code:

Download Contrail package: