Still, Muglia could not say whether Juniper will brand its own SDN controller or source another. One thing is for sure though -- while it will support the OpenFlow protocol, it will not be based on it.
"OpenFlow is one of the protocols for this controller to support," Muglia says. "There are scenarios in the WAN case where OpenFlow has provided a benefit," such as Google's data center interconnection application. "When we look in the data center domain, and in particular in the switching aspects of the data center, it is not clear that OpenFlow will be the key protocol. OpenFlow is about controlling the networking services, the Layer 2/Layer 3 services of the switches. And we're not at all clear that there's a lot of control that needs to be done there. We certainly don't believe that control has to be done on a per flow basis.
"On the other hand, when you deal with the policy that has to be set on a given application, for a given tenant in a cloud, that's interesting. And that needs to get established probably between the virtual switches and the hypervisor. That seems to be the way the industry is going, with Layer 2 overlay services sitting on top of a Layer 3 routed network. There, the protocols that seem to be more relevant to us, that have emerged thus far, are VXLAN and NVGRE. "
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.