Juniper adds SDN to mobile networks

Juniper Networks launches SDN products to centralize management, software enable services

Juniper Networks this week unveiled software-defined networking products for service providers, designed to enable them to more quickly scale capacity and provision services.

The product launch follows Juniper's SDN strategy announcement in late January in which it outlined plans to address what is said are the most pressing challenges facing the networking industry. Along with that, Juniper detailed four steps on how to implement SDNs to address those challenges.

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This week's announcement includes three of those four steps: centralizing management, creating service virtual machines, and optimizing SDNs for network and security hardware.

For centralized management, Juniper unveiled the Services Activation Director, which combines five applications into one to enable service providers to rapidly provision thousands of services, including MPLS and Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul. The application is also designed to enable service providers to lower cost through simplified deployment and management.

The Services Activation Director will be available in the first half of 2013 through Juniper Software Advantage, a new licensing scheme announced with the SDN strategy that allows the software to transfer to any network element with which it operates.

For services, Juniper's Mobile Control Gateway appliance is now available as a virtualized function running on the JunosV App Engine, which is a Linux-based KVM hypervisor with APIs designed to allow customers to quickly turn up services and applications. Mobile Control Gateway provides signaling and control functions to the LTE, 3G and 2G radio access networks.

As a virtualized network function, mobile operators can now use the gateway to rapidly scale up and down capacity to meet variable demand requirements, Juniper says.

Juniper also said its JunosV App Engine is now shipping for the MX edge router. This means the MX hardware is optimized for running an SDN platform like the JunosV AppEngine.

Juniper reiterated that the MX and its SRX Series security products will continue to evolve to support SDN architectures.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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