SDN and NFV Era
SDN and NFV Era
Enabling Partner Services on Contrail: Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager

It’s been nearly 3 months since we launched Juniper Contrail with the surprise announcement around OpenContrail. There are really two big complementary narratives around using Contrail for networking solutions: first, it is most obviously a powerful solution to run the data center networks powering cloud; second, it will abstract away network complexity, orchestrate, and offer automation possibilities for the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) challenge which has very broad applicability and aspirations in many networking domains to increase the agility of deploying network services. It is the second narrative around the NFV that I want to touch on first.


I like to think of using Contrail to orchestrate service chains of networks services, or virtual network functions (VNFs) to use the NFV-jargon, much like I think of a platform. Contrail provides a platform for network services, providing the service chaining infrastructure. Just like an ice cream cone is a platform for ice cream, the cone is not going to entice anyone without something on top of it. Keeping that in mind the service chaining infrastructure is not very interesting, unless we can use it to chain something. There are all kinds of network services from a whole range of vendors, and along with the announcement of Contrail back in September, we announced a range of SDN partnerships, many with these network service vendors. Juniper, embracing open software and partnerships, is fundamentally open to partnerships of this kind through our developer network and OpenLab, but we have been working closely with some really fantastic solution partners to deliver some brilliant NFV solutions (in other words: mega ice cream).


Our very first certified solution partner in the program was Riverbed. Our partnership brings the Riverbed Stingray Traffic Manager on top of Contrail. Stingray was already KVM-ready before we launched Contrail, so it was a perfect fit for Contrail and the open orchestration platforms with which it works like OpenStack and CloudStack. Not only that, but Stingray, as a virtual application delivery controller (ADC), enables high-impact high-value application delivery services.


The ADC is one of the critically important devices there is to enable application scale, and that takes me back to the first narrative around Contrail: rocking the cloud. The whole point of most clouds is massive and agile application scalability. If you want to do that without sacrificing application user experience and performance, you need a first-class ADC in front of your applications. Stingray Traffic Manager provides a whole host of features for your apps increasing acceleration, resilience, and security. Beyond balancing load, it can even reduce the load on your apps by performing the encryption or compression tasks.


Integrated with Contrail, operators can create a VNF service template from the virtualized Stingray service image, then very quickly fire up instances of Stingray along with the applications behind it. This can be done in a chain (sequence) of services that make sense for an application, and keeping with the theme of business agility, all this can be automated through Contrail’s RESTful APIs calls and tied into a bag of custom IT scripting or full-blown ITSMs, B/OSSs, or self-service portals and more.


We’re really inspired when it comes to our partnership with Riverbed to deliver Stingray Traffic Manager into more and more Contrail-powered clouds, networking together the pieces that make cloud live up to needs of the evolving on-demand business world. Stay tuned to hear about more partnerships like this one.


Edit Feb 2014: We're happy to tell you about the solution in more detail through a webinar video recording:



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