Juniper keeps its simplification promise

Adds automation software to campus and data center switches

As promised, Juniper has added automation and orchestration features to its campus and data center switches, including OpenStack support.

The enhancements include extensions to the company’s Junos operating system software – including support for the Puppet automation program -- as well as an OpenStack networking plugin. They are designed to take manual intervention out of network operations, including provisioning and management.

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Citing data from IDC, Juniper says the top IT priorities over the next three years will be operational efficiency, investing in automation and orchestration, and reducing the complexity of management tools.

For provisioning and management, Juniper this week unveiled zero-touch provisioning on Junos for EX and QFX switches. This software enables network operators to turn up new switches and switch ports without having to physically handle the switches. It can be executed and monitored with Juniper’s Junos Space Network Director application, the company says.

Automation is enhanced with Puppet Enterprise for Junos. Juniper has integrated this software from Puppet Labs into Junos so IT teams can manage both compute and network infrastructure simultaneously. It allows server administrators to assign switch ports to virtual LANs themselves instead of waiting for the network admins to do it, Juniper says.

Puppet Enterprise is available for EX and QFX switches, and MX routers.

The last piece of software, the OpenStack plugin, will allow EX and QFabric switches to be orchestrated with other OpenStack-enabled IT equipment in public, private and hybrid clouds. OpenStack is a set of standard APIs that enable adherent devices to work in concert with others in a virtualized, or cloud infrastructure. Physical Juniper switches and virtual resources can be managed using Juniper’s JunosV Contrail SDN controller or VMware products, Juniper says.

The software is all available now as a free Junos update or download from the Juniper site.

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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