Understanding Contrail Systems, Juniper’s SDN Acquisition

Those who have read and watched the previous content from Networking Field Day Five are well aware that the general theme was software defined networking, or SDN. So far, I have mentioned Cisco’s onePK, Brocade’s approach on SDN, and how the creative start-up known as Plexxi built their own hardware and software solution that is quite unique. Juniper, also being one of the networking industry leaders, also has a story to tell.

Juniper’s most interesting play around SDN involves a company they acquired in late 2012 called Contrail Systems. This young start-up was formed in early 2012 in an attempt to solve challenges from scaling private and hybrid cloud solutions. Juniper’s presence at Networking Field Day 5 included an informative presentation from Contrail Vice President Parantap Lahiri. In addition to Mr. Lahiri, Pedro Marques and Jennifer Lin answered questions and provided additional perspective to the problem space and solution.

For me, one of the more appealing aspects of the Contrail solution is the fact that it is based primarily around standards based protocols we have and use today. The ability to utilize MPLS and GRE even promises some ability to seamlessly move workloads between private clouds and public cloud environments. As mentioned in a previous article, each vendor seems to have their own approach and problem space that they are attacking. As a result, each solution has its own set of benefits and challenges. I am certainly interested in how the face of networking changes over then next few years and Contrail will be a solution that I will keep an eye on.

For those interested in more information about Juniper’s role in SDN and the Contrail Systems solution, the entire content can be seen below. For those looking at the direction of networking, it is a video that is well worth watching.

Parantap Lahiri Presents Juniper Networks’ Contrail VNS from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Disclaimer: Juniper was a sponsor for Networking Field Day 5. As a result, their sponsorship covered a portion of the cost of my travel and expenses associated with my attendance to this event. This article itself was written without any restrictions or requirement to do so. My opinions on this product are my own and are accurately reflected.

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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