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Juniper pitches software defined networks for cloud management

16 Jan 2013
Juniper Networks logo

Juniper Networks has outlined its plans for building a software defined network (SDN) enterprise platform, to ease firm's transition to the cloud.

The company issued a a set of six core tenets for the way it sees customers organising, configuring and managing their networks. The company hopes that the list will provide an outline for the SDN platform.

The key points include the centralisation of management, the layering of software at various network levels, the use of standard protocols and a shared framework for web applications and services.

Bob Muglia, executive vice president of software solutions for Juniper, said that the aim of the SDN was to overhaul a decades-old networking architecture which has grown ill-equipped to handle cloud services and large-scale enterprise deployments.

"Because each network device must be configured individually – usually manually; literally from a keyboard - networks can’t keep pace with the on the fly changes required by modern cloud systems," Muglia said on a company blog.

"Internet companies like Amazon or Google that dedicate hundreds of engineers to their cloud systems have built their own solution to network configuration but this is not a reasonable approach for most companies to build their private cloud. As virtualisation and the cloud has revolutionised computing and storage, the network has lagged behind."

In addition to improving network performance and simplifying management, the company hopes that the SDN will be able to improve security. By strengthening the way firewalls can protect the network architecture, the company also hopes that the platform can protect firms from external threats.

As companies continue to mix mobile and cloud services with their traditional IT infrastructure, vendors have turned their focus to improve the operation of the network itself. Juniper and other vendors have lead efforts to build and deploy faster and more efficient network fabrics.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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