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Juniper Networks Enhances Contrail Cloud

November 14, 2017

Juniper Networks has made enhancements to Contrail Cloud to help service providers mitigate the challenges in building and operating distributed and scalable clouds. These updates, including integration of OpenStack Platform and Ceph Storage from leading open source solutions provider Red Hat, built-in AppFormix automation and visibility, pre-validated virtual network functions (VNFs) and new end-to-end support services, give carriers a far simpler path to delivering business, IoT and mobile services in the cloud.

Some of the world's largest service providers have already proven that leveraging cloud architectures to offer business and mobility services can yield immense benefits, including service agility and speed of innovation, as well as considerably lower risk and costs. However, the road to a distributed, scalable and always-available cloud is paved with operational challenges. Tedious procurement processes, complexities in building clouds, integration and interop, coordinating support across multiple vendors, and IT skills gaps in managing carrier-grade service level agreements (SLAs) can all complicate the journey. In a poll among Juniper customers, the company found:

•Respondents said "lack of visibility for all parts of cloud networks" is their top challenge in migrating to the cloud (nearly 40 percent ranked it No. 1); operational complexity ranked second; skills gaps among engineers third and rip-and-replace costs came in fourth.

•More than half (55 percent) of respondents indicated they are using two or more vendors in the network, which can add operational complexity.

Contrail Cloud makes deploying the telco cloud far easier through simplifying the underlying Linux distribution with Red Hat, seamlessly gleaning network insight with AppFormix, clearing the traditionally difficult task of validating VNFs by pre-qualifying, and adding end-to-end support services to smooth implementation. Companies -- from telcos to mobile operators and cable providers -- can use this integrated solution to easily navigate the complexities of cloud deployments and operations with improved performance and scale, and service SLAs.

Aligning with Juniper's Cloud-Grade Networking tenets, Contrail Cloud simplifies the deployment, usability and operation of the virtualized cloud infrastructure with a proven, trusted, open and integrated software stack without compromising performance, scale and availability.

Highlights:

•AppFormix Integration. Contrail Cloud now features the industry-leading automation and optimization functionality of AppFormix, which Juniper acquired in 2016, for fully integrated service assurance of network functions virtualization (NFV) workloads. Simplifying cloud operations and having monitoring, visibility, diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities is a must for service providers transitioning to the cloud era but they also need a ubiquitous way to automatically resolve any cloud infrastructure and software issues in order to ensure SLAs. Juniper's AppFormix introduces an NFV-centric service assurance capability that leverages machine learning to provide continuous response and learning capabilities for uninterrupted operation.

•Pre-Validated Virtual Network Functions. Contrail Cloud now comes as a pre-validated solution with a pre-vetted hardware and software compatibility list that ensures a smooth and rapid cloud deployment from the beginning. The solution includes support for Juniper's vSRX Virtual Firewall, Affirmed Networks' industry-leading Mobile Content Cloud virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solution, and future third-party virtual network functions. The joint solution with Affirmed, which combines their leadership in NFV for Mobile Networks and Juniper's leadership in SDN, IP Networking, and Security, will enable mobile service providers to gracefully migrate to a distributed cloud architecture to significantly improve their service agility and drastically lower their TCO.

•Contrail Cloud managed solution offering: Juniper has introduced an end-to-end services offering to build and operate the cloud infrastructure for customers, including 24/7 solution support, and high-touch services to ensure expert application and adoption of Contrail Cloud.

•Expanded collaboration with Red Hat. Juniper has expanded its collaboration with Red Hat to offer a proven foundation for modern and scalable communications industry deployments, including NFV. Juniper has migrated Contrail Cloud to Red Hat OpenStack Platform, a highly scalable, production-ready Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution, and Red Hat Ceph Storage, an open, massively scalable, software-defined storage solution.

Contrail Cloud offers a complete cloud orchestration software along with a reference architecture, professional services, and partner support to offer an integrated and turn-key solution to make cloud deployment and operations easier than ever. Juniper will be exhibiting at the OpenStack Summit in Sydney, Australia, Nov. 6 through Nov. 8 at booth A17 in the summit marketplace. For more information, visit the Juniper blog.

"Realizing the benefits of the cloud is near the top of the list for strategic imperatives for nearly all service providers big and small -- equivalent to keeping costs low and innovation high. Unfortunately for many, that move isn't as easy as just flipping a switch. Based on our experiences in helping to run the cloud networks of some of the largest telcos in the world, we are introducing an easy, prescriptive path to building and operating a cloud, and making it available to all."

– Pratik Roychowdhury, senior director of product management, Contrail at Juniper Networks

"Service providers are progressively looking to implement telco cloud to increase service agility in order to enable them to create and introduce new innovative services faster to market, both internally to power their business and externally to service their enterprise customers. The reality of telco cloud will be accelerated by system vendors that can help provide operational support to manage the cloud infrastructure, thus allowing service providers to focus on their core business. Contrail Cloud combined with its end-to-end support services aims to help service providers effortlessly transition to cloud and move their business forward."

– Glen Hunt, Principal Analyst, GlobalData

"We are pleased to collaborate with Juniper Networks to reduce the complexity of building a cloud and deliver an open, cloud-grade solution. As an industry leader for OpenStack and Ceph, we've set a clear vision for how software-defined compute and storage can play a transformational role in high-performance service provider clouds for NFV solutions. Building on Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage, Contrail Cloud offers a compelling solution for customers to help them realize the true benefits of cloud and NFV."

– Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat

"Through our experience supporting more than sixty live deployments globally, we have brought to bear the enabling power that an ecosystem of industry leaders working together can provide. Our partnership with Juniper is driven by supporting the needs of our customers as they continue to embrace virtualized architectures. We believe that regardless of where they are in their evolution, by providing a proven, pre-validated telco cloud solution we can significantly accelerate deployments timelines and profitability for service providers."

– Amit Tiwari, vice president strategic alliances and systems engineering, Affirmed Networks

"After more than 5 years of research on development on telco cloud, we are still seeing more lab trials than scale deployments because the operational requirements for high performance, resilience, and easy to deploy and manage infrastructure have not been met. In a recent IHS Markit report*, 76 percent of respondents indicated that the top barrier to NFV was that products were not carrier grade including complex implementations, weak interoperability, cumbersome VNF onboarding and poor OSS/BSS integration. This signals a strong need for Telco cloud solutions that simplify deployment, and operation of telco cloud infrastructure with integrated visibility and analytics."

– Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., senior research director and advisor of cloud and data center research practice for IHS Markit

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