Juniper Networks has introduced Open Cloud Interconnect, a data center interconnect (DCI) system that combines coherent optical devices with open, programmable routing, switching, security, and virtualization technologies.
The basic idea with Open Cloud Interconnect is to simplify the architecture by creating a tighter relationship between packet and optical elements, while providing software management tools to manage the changes, Juniper Director of Service Provider Portfolio Marketing Donyel Jones-Williams told SDxCentral.
“We view that the data center interconnect market … shouldn’t be just focused on one side of the house, with DCI being focused just on optical technology, or DCI just being focused on the packet layer,” Jones-Williams said. “We think the market needs to move forward in unison, combining optical and packet.”
The company signaled it would be taking this approach when it bought Aurrion in 2016.
The products Juniper is announcing today include a set of linecards with coherent optics and software management tools. While the linecards deliver network performance improvements, the key innovation is the architectural change they enable.
One is that customers will be able to mix and match systems. Jones-Williams also talked about a few of the others. One example involves a performance improvement when moving data around.
“There are scenarios where latency matters. A key element in those scenarios is serialization – going from a high-speed interface to a low-speed interface. Over many hops that adds up. If you move to an integrated solution, you minimize the serialization,” Jones-Williams explained.
Another benefit is tied to improvements in the linecards the company just introduced. “Beforehand, in some architectures, I’d have a spine-leaf two-layer architecture, but I’d really have a third layer because I needed to put a router like an MX on top of that to interconnect those two together,” Jones-Williams said. “Now we’ve put some of that routing functionality into the QFX, and I no longer need that third layer. That’s a cost advantage we see.” (The references are to Juniper’s MX routers and QFX line of data center switches.)
Juniper’s Open Cloud Interconnect includes a range of technologies from across Juniper’s product portfolio, including MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, QFX Series Switches, and Contrail Networking, which can be leveraged to build customized DCI solutions aligned to customers’ business goals.
New products announced today include coherent DWDM line cards for the QFX10000 and BTI7800.