Juniper Grows Its NFV Portfolio with Cloud CPE

The networking vendor wants to enable service providers to create services for customers through simple drag-and-drop functionality.


Juniper Networks wants to enable service providers to more easily bring network functions virtualization capabilities to their infrastructures.

At the company's inaugural NXTWORK 2015 customer show Nov. 3 in Santa Clara, Calif., Juniper officials unveiled Cloud CPE, a complete network functions virtualization (NFV) solution that leverages the company's Contrail Networking technology to give communications service providers (CSPs) the ability to rapidly spin out services for customers.

"Service providers have been talking about NFV for a while," Mike Marcellin, vice president of marketing and strategy at Juniper, told eWEEK. "Now they can make that pivot from proof-of-concepts to actual production."

Service providers are turning to NFV and software-defined networking to make their network infrastructures more programmable, flexible and automated. Trends such as cloud computing, big data, mobility and virtualization are putting more pressure on service providers to more quickly create and deliver services for customers, and to make it easier for customers to consume them. Services that once took weeks and months to create and deliver now must be spun out in minutes.

Juniper already has many of the tools in hand, Marcellin said. The company addresses network virtualization with its Contrail Networking controller and compute and storage virtualization via it’s the Contrail Cloud Platform. Now the vendor wants to make service delivery easier.

Cloud CPE will include Contrail Service Orchestration, a collection of integrated software touching on design, automation and orchestration that enables Juniper and third-party virtual network functions (VNFs) like firewalls and VPNs that can run on x86 systems to be supported without disrupting existing applications. Service providers can create services in drag-and-drop fashion and customers can receive services as easily as apps are downloaded onto a smartphone, the company said.

"This allows them to create services and get them out in minutes," Marcellin said.

Contrail Service Orchestration will be released in December.

Juniper's NFX Series network services platforms are software-based on-premises solutions that offer the same functionality as physical customer premise equipment, but bring greater automation and flexibility that will enable them to run multiple VNFs. The Cloud CPE will be housed in a dedicated 1U (1.75-inch) device, the NFX250.

In both telecommunications clouds and distributed environments—such as AT&T's Network On-Demand service—there still is a need for on-premises infrastructures that carry intelligence and automation, Marcellin said. Service providers can offer the appliance—which can run both Juniper VNFs and those from other vendors—to customers to run on premises, he said.

It will be available in the first half of next year, according to Juniper.

In addition, Juniper is offering professional services associated with Cloud CPE, including an assessment service, plus an NFV OSS (operations support system) service and NFV Lifecycle Service, all of which are designed to help customers evaluate technologies and create plans for integrating them into their existing networks.

Cloud CPE was announced the same day that Juniper introduced a new disaggregated version of its Junos networking operating system that can run on third-party systems, such as white boxes.