We talk to David Noguer Bau, Juniper Networks’ global head of telco vertical marketing, about Juniper’s unique new Cloud CPE solution.
In November 2015, Juniper Networks unveiled its Cloud CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) solution in order for service providers to host services from a distributed network function virtualisation (NFV) platform. The Cloud CPE solution lays the foundations for service providers to speed up application and service provisioning for their customers.
Cloud CPE is based on network virtualisation technology that Juniper acquired from SDN start up Contrail in 2012. The platform adds the new Contrail Service Orchestration tool to the existing Contrail Networking Controller and Cloud Platform so that virtual network functions (VNFs) can be built, either by Juniper or third party OpenStack developers, and automatically provisioned and run on standard x86 servers, centralized or distributed.
We asked David Noguer Bau what the new platform brings for service providers and systems integrators alike.
How does Cloud CPE speed up service provisioning?
It consists of a fantastic piece of software called an ‘orchestrator’ that service providers can use to manage the entire service life cycle. This allows their customers to quickly create new services on demand. Unified communications, a WAN optimization or a firewall can all be provisioned with a few clicks deploying specific VNFs.
To guarantee seamless automation, the networking and ICT side of the business need to make sure that the VNFs work on Juniper’s virtualized platform. Once the VNF is sanctioned, the service creation manager can make it automatically available to customers, including pre-defined pricing options within the customer portal. Customers can then activate the services they need and self-provision it.
“The orchestrator makes life easier for everyone and ensures a rapid delivery of services.”
However, the technology behind it must be advanced and well-tested before going live.
What is different about Cloud CPE compared to other SDN/NFV platforms?
First of all, Juniper Cloud CPE is specifically designed to address the problem to virtualize the business CPE functions. It brings an open architecture with centralized and distributed options to solve 100 percent of the use-cases. Cloud CPE also provides the platform (Juniper Networks Contrail Cloud) and tools (Juniper Networks Contrail Service Orchestrator) needed to manage the service life-cycle and provides third party and Juniper VNFs (vSRX) to satisfy the most popular use-cases.
Industry pressures are driving service providers to choose whether or not they want to deploy VNFs in centralized or distributed environments. If centralized, the customer can keep a simple CPE at its own premises. If the customer wants something more advanced sitting somewhere in the cloud, this will be a distributed model. Another option could be for customers to have an x86 server sitting in the branch office. Whenever you activate the VNF, it will land on the server in that specific location.
What Cloud CPE brings to the table is the two models. Centralized and distributed, in one manageable platform. From just the one portal, a customer is able to orchestrate a VNF whether it’s centralized or distributed. To make that VNF distributed model, Juniper has introduced a new product to the mix, NFX250 Network Services Platform built on x86, which can be the vCPE hardware element that sits in the customer premise and can host some of the VNFs locally. However, there is also a centralized x86 based model where the VNFs are hosted and orchestrated from a remote data centre.
We expect the centralized model will be the most deployed one as it covers the majority of use-cases and is more cost effective. For scalability and performance reasons, SPs will consider expanding x86 servers outside of the data centre within Points of Presence (PoPs) for example, where it makes sense to have some services located closer to the end users.
How will the Cloud CPE platform be priced?
“First of all, we try to make the licensing model as flexible and adaptable as possible.”
Why? Because we understand that service providers have different business models. Some Cloud CPE components will be priced per server or CPU socket, others per throughput, and others on a yearly rather than a perpetual license.
It sounds a little complex but “we can provide a tool to guide them to the most suitable option that can grow and adapt over time.”
At Juniper we also want to differentiate by providing a simple pricing model for our customers.
Juniper understands that some service providers look to offer a subscription based model to their customers who, maybe after a year, decide to switch off one of their services such as a firewall , or stop using it altogether, or even move it a physical device. In these instances, it is possible to re-allocate that license to another their customer. If it is not a perpetual license, they can also just stop paying for it.
…….Subscribe to our Blog Page for Part Two on 23rd February 2016
Customer case studies in EMEA include
Orange Business Services: http://www.juniper.net/us/en/company/case-studies/service-provider/orange-business-services/