Juniper Networks has announced a new software solution that gives service providers a near-limitless ability to cost-effectively deploy new revenue-generating services at the network edge. Juniper’s new Contrail Edge Cloud packs the industry’s most functionality into the smallest footprint among competitors to bring a full-fledged secure cloud experience to the space- and power-constrained edge network, which includes base stations, hub sites and switching sites.
Insatiable demand for connectivity and a need to continually invent new revenue sources have driven service providers to decentralize their network architecture and move latency-sensitive applications and services, including connected cars, AR/VR and upcoming 5G services – from the core to the edge. While this part of the network serves as a key competitive asset that operators can leverage in moving beyond offering mere connectivity services, the edge also poses space, power, economic and management challenges that require rethinking existing cloud architectures to make service creation and deployment feasible. Deploying the same amount of hardware and software in every edge site that is deployed in centralized data centers would prove costly from both a capex and opex perspective.
Contrail Edge Cloud is the industry’s only production-grade solution that extends a full suite of orchestration, automation, security and analytics to the edge in order to deploy dynamic consumer and enterprise services in a cost- and resource-efficient manner. With this new solution that leverages the software-defined networking capabilities of Contrail Networking and Contrail Security with Kubernetes and OpenStack to provide advanced networking, Juniper has taken another step toward enabling a secure automated distributed cloud that provides operators a simple way to create, manage and monetize new services in preparation for 5G. As a champion of open-source networking, Juniper has built Contrail Edge Cloud based on Linux Foundation’s open Tungsten Fabric project and continues to contribute to the Linux Foundation’s Akraino Edge Stack project to further the open cloud initiatives.
● Footprint-optimized distributed computing: Integration with Red Hat OpenStack Platform, a highly scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, with distributed compute, leverages many of the latest OpenStack capabilities to remotely manage the lifecycle of compute nodes and virtual machines (VMs) from a centralized data center, without requiring the footprint of co-located OpenStack control plane functions in each of these remote edge sites. This is critical in space-, power- and compute-constrained edge sites.
● Containers for faster time to revenue: Kubernetes provides the orchestration for the containerized applications. Containers running on a Kubernetes application platform will help service providers to increase the density of applications deployed on their platforms and be more immediately responsive to service provisioning and activation. Contrail Edge Cloud will be capable of supporting Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and other Kubernetes distributions.
● Unified workflow, policy and service chaining: Contrail Networking with remote compute capabilities enables service providers to deliver a seamless network fabric between VMs, containers and bare metal servers from a single-user interface across physical and virtual environments. Contrail Networking translates abstract workflows into specific networking policies, simplifying the orchestration of virtual overlay connectivity across all environments. Fabric management capabilities automate policies and life-cycle management of each data center and edge site fabric. Contrail Networking provides connectivity and service chaining for OpenStack VM, Kubernetes containers and bare metal workloads without requiring the footprint of co-located control plane functions.
● Native security and micro segmentation: Contrail Security provides visibility, telemetry and network policy enforcement in a single unified mechanism for service providers that are increasingly deploying a mix of VMs and containers. It includes adaptive firewall policies and tag-based ability to enforce security policies across Kubernetes and OpenStack.
● Open-source software-defined storage: Red Hat Ceph Storage provides massively scalable storage that runs economically on industry standard hardware and manages petabytes of data across cloud and emerging workloads. Red Hat Ceph Storage is tightly integrated with OpenStack’s modular architecture and components for ephemeral and persistent storage, offering a single efficient platform to support block, object and file storage. Red Hat Ceph Storage can also be used in hyper-converged deployments with the OpenStack platform for greater operational efficiencies, available as Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud.
● Machine learning-based analytics: AppFormix provides machine learning-based performance and health monitoring to give health and service insights into workloads and deployments.
● Full-featured virtualized security: cSRX and vSRX deliver an industry-leading container and virtualized security instance as part of the service chain.
“Service providers’ edge networks are beachfront property. As 5G and new applications such as IoT, AR/VR and connected cars all require extreme proximity to the end user, the edge will become ground zero to deploy virtualized network infrastructure, as well as to monetize new applications. Contrail Edge Cloud will greatly simplify the IT side of spinning up and managing these new services in a secure way. And what’s great is it isn’t just for network engineers. It also gives sales and marketing executives a way to get creative with agile new services, so businesses and consumers start seeing carriers as more than just connectivity providers. We are executing all of this in an incredibly small edge-friendly footprint,” says Sally Bament, Vice-President, Service Provider Marketing, Juniper Networks.
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