Juniper Switch Combines Open Design, Junos Network OS

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-12-03 Print this article Print
Juniper switch

Major cloud providers—such as Facebook, Google and Amazon—are looking for greater cost and energy efficiencies in their data center infrastructures, and often have the resources to develop the equipment themselves or rely on white-box makers and maintain the hardware on their own.

Not everyone has those resources, fueling the idea behind Juniper's OCX1100 switch, which has been submitted to the OCP for review, according to company officials. Juniper is working with original design manufacturer (ODM) Alpha Networks on the hardware design, which officials said should get OCP approval before the switch goes on sale in the first quarter of 2015.

The switch runs an optimized version of Junos OS, which is based on Linux and offers all the features needed for Level 3 networks. Included in the switch are programmatic interfaces for such languages as Python, enabling custom scripts and applications to work with Junos, and support for the tools already in Junos, including Puppet and Chef, for automated programming and provisioning. There also is real-time ephemeral table programming to Junos software development kits (SDKs) and support for Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), which enables users to remove Junos and install another vendor's network OS if they want.

That enables organizations to avoid vendor lock-in, Juniper's Davidson said. However, he doesn't expect all customers will take out Junos.

"There is also a segment of customers who value the principles of openness and innovation but lack the desire or resources to take on the burden of integration and support required for a disaggregated solution," Davidson wrote. "We are targeting these customers; and this is fully aligned with OCP in both theory and in principle."

He added that the new switch "enables us to address a new market segment. With the OCX, we can better serve customers who are tired of being trapped by the market leader and unable to move to a disaggregated offering due to lack of features and unstable operating systems currently available on OCP platforms."


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