Juniper sharpens knife for the carrier network and boxes white boxes

Suddenly, everyone's using automation to beat back open networks

MWC Juniper's following Cisco's lead into carrier network automation.

The Gin Palace's Contrail automation environment will soon grow a Network SlicingBot, which is designed to give operators hands-off provisioning.

The aim, according to Juniper, is to let operators build just one network architecture (based on the MX Router with APIs to other vendors), and “slice” it (that is, create networks to serve particular requirements) with a single click.

Hence: the Network SlicingBot can grab nodes in an MX Router with Junos Node Slicing, across the network, while maintaining control and user plane separation (CUPS). Analytics let the bot validate the business requirements in real time, using Juniper's “intent-driven software architecture”.

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Another announcement from Juniper's "look at what we're up to at Mobile World Congress" news dump is partnerships with Affirmed Networks and Netronome.

From Affirmed Networks, Juniper gets access to a virtual EPC (Enhanced Packet Core) called Mobile Content Cloud. Netronome's specialty is its Agilo SmartNICs.

The partner offerings will be boxed up with Contrail Network in a service to help operators cloudify the infrastructure supporting mobile data, 5G and IoT traffic.

For Juniper, it's a way to claw back customers from white-box offerings, with the Gin Palace saying in its canned announcement that the Juniper/Netronome/Affirmed Networks tie-up will outperform software running on commodity hardware (we discussed Netronome NICs' processing offload capabilities when the company inked a deal with Dell in January). ®

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