Juniper Networks on Dec. 10 announced its intent to open up its modular JUNOS router operating system to third-party development when it launched its new Partner Solution Development Platform.
Juniper has already begun working with a range of partners on different types of applications. The aim is to give carriers, service providers, large enterprises and others access to the modular JUNOS operating system to create new products and services for their networked businesses.
"This provides tools to help them build what's right for them in their particular situation. It really is about innovation, but driving it from a broader perspective of the industry's intelligence, expertise and creativity," described Cathy Gadecki, senior manager of JUNOS software marketing in Westford, Mass.
Examples of the types of custom applications or services that could be developed to run on JUNOS include event-optimized routing, bandwidth management, advanced security services and extended operations toolsets.
An independent software vendor could, for example, create a video traffic management system, a messenger appliance vendor could create a messenger gateway that runs on JUNOS or a systems integrator could add support to a router network for proprietary protocols.
The PSDP, in development for more than two years by the Sunnyvale, Calif., company, includes a SDE (software development kit) and secure interfaces to JUNOS routing and service functions. Gadecki said because it abstracts the functions of JUNOS and creates a level of separation from the OS, it does not open up security vulnerabilities in the network.
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"Because of the modular architecture—where the application is separated and self contained and takes advantage of underlying process and management, you don't have applications corrupting other memory spaces. And it will maintain the performance and reliability [of Juniper routers] to satisfy the biggest carriers," she added.
Gadecki said that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for rivals such as Cisco Systems to counter Juniper's move to open its router OS to third-party developers.
"People see this as us blazing the trail by taking this step forward and enabling others to take advantage of our OS. It will be difficult for others to do by virtue of their architecture," she said.
The PSDP, which will be licensed to customers on an annual basis, will be available to selected Juniper partners and customers through its Open IP Solution Development Program. Initial program members include Avaya and Aricent.
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