Juniper Networks’ new Contrail Edge Cloud packs functionality into a small footprint to bring cloud capabilities and virtualization to the edge network. “Edge” according to Juniper includes base stations, hub sites, and switching sites.
Service providers want to bring cost-effective compute to edge locations. But these locations have space limitations and power constraints. Juniper’s answer is its new Contrail Edge Cloud with capabilities packed into a software-defined data plane. While data plane functions are pushed to the edge, the technology keeps management functions centralized.
Elements of Contrail Edge Cloud include:
- Distributed computing with Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Its capabilities remotely manage the lifecycle of compute nodes and virtual machines (VMs) from a centralized data center without requiring co-located OpenStack control plane functions in each of these remote edge sites.
- Kubernetes provides the orchestration for the containerized applications. Contrail Edge Cloud will support Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and other Kubernetes distributions.
- Contrail Networking with remote compute capabilities enables service providers to deliver a network fabric and service chaining for OpenStack VM, Kubernetes containers, and bare metal workloads.
- Contrail Security provides telemetry and network policy enforcement for service providers that are increasingly deploying a mix of VMs and containers. It includes adaptive firewall policies and tag-based ability to enforce security policies across Kubernetes and OpenStack.
- Red Hat Ceph Storage runs on industry-standard hardware and is tightly integrated with OpenStack’s modular architecture and components for ephemeral and persistent storage, offering a single platform to support block, object, and file storage. Red Hat Ceph Storage can also be used in hyperconverged deployments with the OpenStack platform.
- AppFormix provides machine learning-based performance and health monitoring.
- Juniper’s cSRX and vSRX deliver a container and virtualized security instance as part of the service chain.
Julius Francis, Juniper’s director of product management for cloud platform and analytics, said Contrail Edge Cloud brings virtualization, service chaining, and security into the edge location in a small footprint while allowing it to be centrally managed.
Initial target customers for Contrail Edge Cloud are global Tier 1 service providers “who are sitting on beach front properties,” said Francis. By that he means these Tier 1 operators already operating central offices and base stations.
He said upgrading their edge networks is important for 4G and LTE and will be especially important as these operators roll out 5G with its stricter requirements for low latency.
Juniper has built Contrail Edge Cloud based on the Linux Foundation’s open Tungsten Fabric project and continues to contribute to the Linux Foundation’s Akraino Edge Stack project to further the open cloud initiatives.
Contrail Edge Cloud will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2018.