Juniper Networks said that Liberty Global is using its vMX software-based router across some of its global cable operations. The vendor said this is one of the largest deployments of its virtualized reflectors.
Liberty Global is deploying the router across all of its European properties, including Ziggo, Virgin, and UnityMedia. Deployments are also happening across some of its subsidiaries in the Americas, though not with Cable & Wireless Communications, Liberty Puerto Rico, and VTR, a Juniper spokesman told SDxCentral.
Liberty Global, which is one of the world’s largest TV and broadband companies, sprawls across the globe with operations in Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America. A sister company, Liberty Broadband, owns a chunk of Charter Communications in the U.S.
At the beginning of the trend toward software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), edge routing was one of the first tasks Juniper said its customers wanted to see virtualized. The pitch is that the NFV-based approach should enable users to improve performance and better control costs in support of voice, video, and data services.
Juniper’s MX series is the company’s line of universal edge routers. Juniper introduced vMX (virtual MX) in 2014. Juniper and Amazon made it available through Amazon Web Services (AWS) last year. Announced customers include A2B Internet (the Netherlands), Coloclue (U.S.), and LG U+ (South Korea).
“The Juniper Virtual Route Reflector solution has been deployed across more than 20 locations in Europe and the U.S., running as virtual machine (VM) on multiple distributed [Hewlett Packard Enterprise] blade servers,” the Juniper spokesman said.
Liberty will run the vMX virtual network function (VNF) on x86-based HPE blade servers aggregated on more than 50 Juniper EX switches; two per location for redundancy, the Juniper spokesman said. In total, the Liberty deployment is one of Juniper’s largest, “with more than 80 primary and more than 80 secondary instances.”
Liberty will be using the vMX instances largely as route reflectors, at least at first.
Route reflectors make routers in border gateway protocol (BGP) networks behave as if they are connected in a full mesh configuration. Sets of BGP routers in a network, instead of peering with every single other BGP router in a network, can connect instead through route reflectors; the route reflectors make it appear as if every router involved is connected in a full mesh.
As a VNF, Juniper’s vMX is fully scalable. Network operators can spin up or spin down instances, and can also spin one up for individual customers. Liberty Global anticipates using vMXs in this manner too.
“Virtualization solutions streamline our infrastructure, our operations environment, and our global business outcomes,” explained Andy Grotzke, vice president of core network strategy and engineering at Liberty Global, in a statement. “While our first NFV deployment is for virtual route reflection, we are also evaluating the vMX to rapidly add network capacity and new customers.”
Liberty Global’s vMX deployment represents a continuation of business with Juniper Networks. Liberty has previously deployed Juniper’s MX universal edge routers, PTX packet transport routers, SRX services gateways, and switches.