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Posts Tagged ‘Juniper Networks’

In the movie “Back to the Future,” Dr. Emmet Brown changed the world when he fell off his toilet and hit his head on the sink and the vision of the “flux capacitor” came to him. The flux capacitor was the technology that allowed Emmet Brown to build his DeLorean-based time machine that skewed the existing space-time continuum.

For Juniper’s new CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir, a similar skewing of the space-time continuum was required when he was hired. In the past few years, the company’s stock price had jumped around and the momentum of many of Juniper’s products had been inconsistent. A change was certainly needed.

Luckily for Shaygan, no fall off the toilet was required for his inspiration. Instead, he took a look back at what made the company successful in the past and is trying to resurrect that culture. This week, Juniper held its annual industry analyst conference, and it was the first time Mr. Kheradpir addressed the analyst community and articulated his vision of where the company is going. During the Q&A portion of the event, Shaygan discussed bringing back a culture of co-creation with Juniper’s customers to do some unique things with the network.

Juniper Networks made a splash in enterprise networking when it announced its QFabric architecture about two years ago. QFabric was designed to be the foundation for the next-generation data center and offered a single-tier switching fabric. The solution was very innovative and the company was the first mainstream switching vendor to aggressively market the concept of a network fabric.

This week, Juniper unveiled its new MetaFabric architecture, which is a more holistic solution that includes not only switching but also routing, security and the company’s Contrail SDN Controller. The new MetaFabric architecture combines QFabric and the EX family, giving it a single architecture for both switch lines.

The most notable difference between MetaFabric and QFabric, though, is the fact that MetaFabric addresses a much bigger deployment than QFabric. When Juniper rolled out QFabric, the company was addressing the challenges in building a next-generation data center network. MetaFabric is designed to address the challenges of deploying a network within and across multiple data centers.

It seems we can’t go more than a couple of weeks without someone making another product announcement related to software defined networks (SDNs). A couple of weeks ago, VMware announced its NSX network virtualization platform at its user conference, VMworld. Along with the platform, VMware highlighted a number of NSX partners, one of which was Juniper Networks.

This week, Juniper took the covers off it’s own SDN controller by announcing the general availability of its Contrail controller. While Juniper’s vision matches that of VMware’s software defined data center, the approach from Juniper is markedly different than that of VMware. In addition to being a direct competitor to NSX, the Contrail controller is a completely standards-based controller that uses OpenStack as the orchestration protocol, whereas NSX is more of a proprietary platform meant for VMware-only environments.



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