Juniper Aims to Make Multicloud Management Easier

The vendor’s Contrail Enterprise Multicloud platform is designed to give enterprises a single tool for orchestrating workloads across public clouds.


Juniper Networks officials are looking to ease the path for enterprises adopting a future that involves running workloads on multiple cloud environments and are using their new Contrail Enterprise Multicloud platform as a foundational element of that strategy.

The platform is designed to give companies a single tool for orchestrating, managing and controlling workloads running in a broad array of scenarios, from physical and virtual environments within their data centers to multiple public clouds. With Contrail Enterprise Multicloud, users can manage overlays and fabrics and orchestrate virtual machines (VMs), containers, networking devices, security, public and private clouds, and bare metal servers.

The product also offers analytics capabilities; infrastructure performance monitoring of data center networking systems, cloud infrastructures and applications; and the ability to predict and remediate issues in real time, according to officials.

“This means you can manage workloads on-premises and in the cloud,” Bikash Koley, executive vice president and CTO at Juniper, wrote in a post on the company blog. “In the public cloud, they can run on AWS [Amazon Web Services], Azure and GCP [Google Cloud Platform]. Those workloads can run on VMs or containers. And you can manage the overlay along with the underlay that might span Juniper Networks and other equipment. You can provision, execute workflows and monitor everything end-to-end, regardless of where the device or workload resides. And the whole infrastructure is intent-driven from the ground up. The key word in all of this is AND. Contrail Enterprise Multicloud is a common platform for all of this. And because it’s all supported, it means you can turn up specific use cases as your enterprise evolves.”

Contrail Enterprise Multicloud is part of a larger multicloud strategy the vendor has been building out over the past year. In February, the company rolled out a broad range of hardware, software and services that touched on everything from core data centers, campus and branch offices, and the public cloud to give enterprise looking to migrate more workloads and data to the cloud an infrastructure foundation.

The idea is that as more businesses make the move into the cloud, they will place workloads in different public clouds. Juniper is among a growing number of tech vendors—which also include Cisco Systems and F5 Networks—that are developing products to help customers with the management and security challenges of such a multicloud approach. Having to move, manage and secure applications and data that reside in different clouds—and that have disparate tools and standards of their own—can be difficult, so having a single tool like Contrail Enterprise Multicloud can ease some of the headaches of managing workloads in the data center as well as on multiple clouds.

The multicloud trend will accelerate in the coming years. A study done by PwC and commissioned by Juniper found that most enterprise workloads running in private data centers will be moved to the public cloud within the next three years, and that most businesses will leverage a range of public clouds.

In his blog post, Koley wrote that most businesses begin their journey to the cloud by adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings through such tools as Office 365, Salesforce and Workday. 

“As companies look to take further advantage of the cloud, they turn their eyes to more complex applications,” he wrote. “For some, moving to the cloud is an exercise in lift-and-shift. Applications are hosted in AWS, Azure or GCP rather than within a private data center. And as companies explore the operational nuances of various clouds, they might favor one or another cloud for specific applications, typically because of economic or performance requirements.

“But the promise of multicloud is not about fracturing the IT environment into cloud-specific shards that encompass infrastructure and operations for bounded domains. Multicloud is about managing resources as a single, cohesive infrastructure—regardless of whether they reside in a private cloud, public cloud A or public cloud B.”

Juniper is also outlining a five-step framework to help guide enterprises as they move into a multicloud world. The framework touches on everything from products and tools to processes to architecture. The framework includes Juniper’s range of multicloud products, including Contrail Enterprise Multicloud, as well as professional services.

In addition, Juniper is bundling Contrail Enterprise Multicloud with its QFX Series switches to help enterprises design network infrastructures for their data centers.