Juniper disaggregates even further

Unveils more open Junos OS and a leaf switch for it that supports 25/50G

open switching terminology
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Juniper Networks this week unveiled a new access switch supporting 25/50G Ethernet as well as an open version of its Junos operating system for it.

Juniper says it disaggregated Junos so it can enable third-party application and service support, and enhanced programmability. Disaggregation is the industry practice of breaking the dependencies of hardware and software on each other so they can be sold independently, giving customers more choice in what they purchase and operate.

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Disaggregated Junos will allow customers, for the first time, to develop and install third-party applications directly on supported Juniper switching systems, Juniper says. Previously, developers had to write to the Junos SDK for deep and specific integration with the Juniper platform.

The disaggregated Junos will also run on any switches that support the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), Juniper says. ONIE is a network boot loader to install software, including operating systems from multiple vendors, on bare metal Ethernet network switches.

And the disaggregated Junos supports Linux tools for orchestrating third-party applications using OpenStack, Apache, NETCONF and other techniques, Juniper says. The operating system supports MPLS, BGP, EVPN-VXLAN and OVSDB-VXLAN overlays.

Disaggregated Junos uses a container approach to provide access to the Linux kernel while protecting control, data and management plane functions. Users can selectively install third-party Linux RPM packages and create guest containers and VMs. Guest applications can communicate with each other and with external controllers, as well as program Junos control and data planes and platform components through programmable APIs to implement specific network forwarding and management functions.

These applications can also automate management and control by integrating with SDN controllers and orchestration tools.

Disaggregated Junos runs on Juniper’s new access and leaf switch, the QFX5200. Based on Broadcom’s Tomahawk chipset, the QFX5200 supports 32x100G and 64x40G configurations, with 25G and 50G connections available through breakout cables.

Tomahawk silicon delivers 3.2Tbps switching capacity – 32 100G ports -- and SDN-optimized engines in a single chip, and features all-25G per-lane interconnect, enabling transformation to 25G and 50G Ethernet networks and eventually up to 100G. Other vendors offering 25G/50G Ethernet include Arista, Cisco, Dell and Pica8.

In addition to supporting the new disaggregated Junos, the QFX5200 can run native Junos or a third-party network operating system through compliance with ONIE.

The QFX5200-32C is a 1RU switch with 32 QSFP+ or QSFP28 ports. The QFX5200-64Q is a 2RU switch with 64 QSFP+ or 32 QSFP28 ports. Port combinations on the 32C include 128x25G; 64x25G + 16x100G; and 96x10G + 8x100G.

Port combinations on the 64Q include 64x40G, and 36x40G + 14x100G.

Juniper said it plans to support disaggregated Junos across more switches than just the QFX5200. The company’s year-old OCX1100 branded white box switch runs a version of Junos that supports ONIE but is not as extensible as disaggregated Junos.

Also this week, Juniper introduced a product suite designed to allow cloud operators to deploy virtual CPE on the subscriber premises for faster service delivery and activation/deactivation. Juniper’s Cloud CPE includes the company’s Contrail SDN controller and orchestration tool, and a new appliance called the NFX250.

The NFX250 is a 1RU x86 server with storage, network interfaces and a virtual image of Juniper’s SRX firewall that functions as an on-premises device capable of running multiple virtual network functions (VNF) from Juniper and third-parties. NFX250 is designed to allow service providers to update network functions for their customers without having to purchase new CPE hardware.

Juniper is one of the vendors supplying AT&T with virtual CPE.

For orchestration of VNFs, Juniper rolled out Contrail Service Orchestration. Contrail Service Orchestration is software designed to deliver virtualized network services, such as virtual security, and manage the VNF lifecycle from design to activation with no disruption to existing applications.

Contrail Service Orchestration will be available in December. The NFX250 will be available in the first half of 2016.

Juniper also said this week that its products are being integrated into converged and hyperconverged IT systems that combine compute, storage, networking and virtualization. Converged stack offerings from Juniper partners FusionStorm, InterCloud Systems, InterVision, ITQAN, Redapt, Technica and Virtual Armor include Juniper routers, switches, firewalls and Contrail controllers, the company says.

Juniper said it is also providing validated reference architectures and joint support services with these partners.

This story, "Juniper disaggregates even further" was originally published by Network World.