January 15, 2013, 3:07 PM — Juniper Networks at long last has laid out its software-defined networking (SDN) strategy, which includes a revamped software licensing plan that the company says will change its business model and differentiate it from competitors.
Juniper has been the least vocal of the major network vendors in articulating a strategy for attacking the SDN market -- a market that IDC expects to be worth $3.7 billion in 2016. Last year, rivals Cisco, HP, Brocade and Arista all initiated plans to harness SDNs in various ways to help customers transition to more flexible, virtualized networking architectures from those dependent on the proprietary characteristics of physical infrastructure. And Alcatel-Lucent recently disclosed funding of a year-old startup company focused on cloud SDNs.
While Juniper in December did spend $176 million to acquire SDN controller startup Contrail Systems, it has not been forthcoming about its overall SDN plans, other than dropping hints and suggestions at financial conferences and offshore trade shows.
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This week, that changes. Juniper's plan includes six principles that the company claims address the most pressing challenges facing the networking industry over the next two years: