The controller will be based on the company's recently announced JunosV App Engine, which will ship this quarter, and the recently acquired controller technology from Contrail. JunosV App Engine is intended to allow customers to quickly turn up new services and applications. It includes a Linux operating system and KVM hypervisor with APIs to Juniper and third-party applications that run on an x86-based server module in the router.
Juniper had previously stated that it was looking to coalesce the industry around an open source-based de facto industry standard SDN controller to go up against Cisco's Insieme development and the one obtained by VMware through its acquisition of Nicira. But the company's stance has "evolved" since disclosing that intention last September, says Bob Muglia, executive vice president of Juniper's Software Solutions Division.
Juniper now views open source as an advantageous interface technology between controllers, and between controllers and switches, rather than as the core of controller capability, Muglia says.
The controller will be delivered in 2014 and include the software service chaining capability, Muglia says. Juniper's MX router and SRX security gateway hardware will be optimized for the software service chaining capability, with Juniper's QFabric data center and EX series campus switches to follow.
Though the overall strategy is consistent with where the industry's going, Juniper's differentiator is the new software licensing model, which is called Juniper Software Advantage. It is based on enterprise software licensing models -- many of Juniper's top executives, including Muglia and CEO Kevin Johnson, are from Microsoft -- and allows the transfer of software licenses between Juniper devices and industry-standard x86 servers to protect customer investments.