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Network World - Juniper Networks at long last has laid out its software-defined networking (SDN) strategy, which includes a revamped software licensing plan that the company says will change its business model and differentiate it from competitors.
Juniper has been the least vocal of the major network vendors in articulating a strategy for attacking the SDN market -- a market that IDC expects to be worth $3.7 billion in 2016. Last year, rivals Cisco, HP, Brocade and Arista all initiated plans to harness SDNs in various ways to help customers transition to more flexible, virtualized networking architectures from those dependent on the proprietary characteristics of physical infrastructure. And Alcatel-Lucent recently disclosed funding of a year-old startup company focused on cloud SDNs.
While Juniper in December did spend $176 million to acquire SDN controller startup Contrail Systems, it has not been forthcoming about its overall SDN plans, other than dropping hints and suggestions at financial conferences and offshore trade shows.
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This week, that changes. Juniper's plan includes six principles that the company claims address the most pressing challenges facing the networking industry over the next two years:
In addition to those six principles, Juniper outlined four steps customers can take to implement SDNs this year. Those include implementing a single, centralized master network management, analytics and configuration capability for all network devices for comprehensive insight of network operations; creating network and security service virtual machines by extracting service software from hardware and housing it on x86 servers; using a centralized controller that enables service chaining in software, or the ability to connect services across devices according to business need; and optimizing hardware for high performance SDNs.
Analysts say Juniper's strategy is consistent with the way the rest of the industry is adopting SDNs.