OpenFlow 1.0 is on Juniper's MX routers and EX switches today. OpenFlow 1.3 will be on the MX, EX and QFabric QFX lines next year. Juniper also plans to add production-ready path computation and real-time topology tools, like BGP-Traffic Engineering and Application Layer Traffic Optimization, to its systems next year (see graphic).
Having multiple controllers deployed and interacting through "east/west" interfaces is also key to scaling an SDN, Sindhu notes. And the northbound interface from the network to the orchestration systems is vital for synchronizing network operations with those of compute and storage resources also resident in the data center, he said.
Juniper pledges that its northbound and southbound interfaces, whether or not OpenFlow is employed, will be open.
"The incumbent has already placed or made statements about what it intends to do with ... SDN and the fact that it has the intention to control the standard," Sindhu said, referring to Cisco. "Juniper has no intent to control the standard. What we want to do is we want to see open standards develop. We don't want to do standards plus. We want to have open standard, and we want to exploit the fact that we have a single operating system which will make it a lot easier for us to do things."
Juniper's claims its SDN strategy is consistent with the direction it's pursued since 2009.
Three years ago, Juniper announced its New Network initiative built around three goals: innovation, automation and optimization to reduce cost.
"You roll forward to 2012 and you ask the question about what are the goals of SDN? It turns out that the goals are exactly the same, completely identical," Sindhu said.
"We see SDN as a very, very strong opportunity. It's not a threat."
Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.