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Juniper switching boss talks technology challenges, Cisco Nexus 6000

Jim Duffy | April 24, 2013
Jonathan Davidson took over Juniper campus and data center switching when the two previously separate business units were combined following the departure of founding engineer R.K. Anand.

Which way do you point an SDN customer when you have SDN Version 1, Version 2 and OpenDaylight?

From a customer perspective there's not a whole lot of confusion. If I am a customer that is a VMware shop, more than likely I'm going to want to stick with the VMware path. As a networking vendor, all of our components must seamlessly integrate into that environment. Because I want to make sure that my applications are resilient, I want to make sure they're secure, I want to make sure that my applications can communicate with each other. So I don't think there's any confusion from that customer perspective. Infrastructure as a service is a different model. Many of them are VMware customers but a lot of them are looking to go down the OpenStack path. Through OpenStack, they can go down the Juniper/Contrail path, or OpenDaylight ... that's going to be a customer-by-customer decision. The key thing for us is to make sure that they understand what their options are and what they have available to them.

Why would a customer opt for Daylight over Contrail, and vice versa?

Once we know what Daylight is from a product perspective, I'll be able to answer that question. But it's still early and I think the targeted customer for Daylight is still new. Once the product exists there'll be inherent benefits to each one.

What's the SDN strategy for the rest of the EX portfolio?

We can put any of the EX9200 control plane protocols across our entire portfolio. You can change the data plane protocol as well (on the EX9200) because of how programmable the chip itself is. We will support OpenFlow on that product as well as other protocols I'm not ready to discuss today. So from a control plane perspective, we're set. From a data plane perspective some of (EX switches) require simply new chipsets in order for us to go and do that. But over time you're going to see more and more consistency across the switching portfolio as we continue to leverage the best of both worlds, both the EX9200 with Virtual Chassis on the EX side, as well as across the QFabric portfolio. A good example of that is Puppet, which is an automation tool predominantly used from a server admin, sys admin perspective. But the biggest pain point many of our network operations people feel in the data center is because the server people have virtualization, sys admins are able to fire up a new compute in seconds or minutes, a new application is seconds ... but then they have to go and file a network trouble ticket to get the network VLAN created. We've been able to put Puppet not only on QFabric, QFX, EX the entire portfolio -- that's a powerful thing.


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