Verizon Unlocks the Power of Junos Node Slicing for its Multi-Services Edge
Apr 30, 2018
Verizon recently launched its multi-services edge (MSE), with Juniper playing an instrumental role in this groundbreaking new platform. Verizon’s MSE is SDN (software-defined networking) in action: it essentially “cloudifies” the network with an overlay of software control so that Verizon can operate the network more efficiently and respond to changes in the marketplace much faster. Juniper has applied its deep software expertise to provide disaggregation, automation, and virtualization to help bring Verizon’s new network architecture to market quickly, enabling Verizon to serve the rapidly evolving needs of their customers.
Opening the networking technology stack
Juniper’s commitment to openness and interoperability is critical to making Verizon’s MSE a reality. It all starts with disaggregating the networking technology stack so that Junos is no longer locked to specific hardware. Disaggregation yields important benefits. First, it speeds up innovation. Software development cycle times are generally much quick than that of hardware, so separate the two and you get innovation faster. And arguably, nothing is more important to building and maintaining competitive advantage today than speed and being first to market. Second, as integrated stacks break down, a network operator such as Verizon can mix and match components to best fit their purpose. In other words, flexibility.
But disaggregation is useless unless every supplier is open and interoperable. Ultimately these components and systems must be assembled into usable solutions for customers such as Verizon’s MSE. Open APIs, data models, configurations, protocols, open source software. Open at every layer, both vertically, up and down the stack, and horizontally, across vendors - Juniper has been an industry pioneer in many of these areas. For example, in Verizon’s MSE, Juniper infrastructure is integrated with an open daylight (ODL) SDN controller.
Open interfaces enable The Self-Driving NetworkTM. Streaming telemetry, both network and service-specific, is delivered up the stack to Juniper and/or 3rd party systems. These systems can correlate and analyze the data to make operational decisions and send responses back down through these interfaces to the infrastructure.
Scaling MX2020 with Junos Node Slicing
Juniper Networks infrastructure, including our MX2020 routers with node slicing capability, lays the foundation for Verizon’s MSE to provide a variety of customized services to end users within a single converged platform. This drives efficiency by allowing dissimilar traffic profiles to traverse a common infrastructure. More importantly, this results in happier customers. For example, public safety communication travels on one network slice designed for ultra-high reliability and low latency, while your refrigerator software upgrade travels on another slice.
In the Verizon network we support an External Control Plane (ECP) that runs Junos images per slice on x86 compute infrastructure, allowing centralized control over highly distributed and scalable subscriber termination points. Different Junos images allow an operator to reliably serve their embedded customer base without disruption, while at the same time facilitating experimentation and overall innovation with new customer segments. Junos Node Slicing running on x86 enables multiple independent MX slices (Management, Control, Data Plane) in a single chassis - for the Verizon MSE, we support up to 10 slices (w/ redundancy). Additionally Juniper’s Network SlicingBot eventually can sit on top of the virtual and physical elements to automate the creation and operation of these customized network slices.
The Juniper Advantage
Verizon’s Intelligent Edge network, powered by Juniper, is fundamentally changing how the service provider is running the network by making software the control point, which means it’s easier to automate services and share different network assets. The truth is that no one can accurately predict what the next big thing is going to be, but with a more nimble network, an operator can respond quickly.