Open Source Networking Gear: Juniper’s Approach

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DISCLAIMER: This is just my two-cents.

Cisco has been opposed to open source whitebox networking from day one. There are many reasons for Cisco’s stance on open source networking. I assume the largest roadblock here is that Cisco develops networking solutions and only shares partial functionality with the RFC. With EVPN usage on the rise as well as other solutions that are being pushed all the way down to the host, Cisco is falling behind.

It’s interesting though, more and more companies are moving towards whitebox switching with Cumulus Linux being one of the, if not the largest whitebox switching software provider out there.  There are many other alternatives to Cumulus Linux like ONL and Netvisor OS, to name a few.

With all this uproar about Facebook integrating in-house designed switching gear, Cisco and Juniper have both had a few press releases.

juniper vs cisco

This is Juniper’s Mike Marcellin’s Press Release:

Says Marcellin,

The networking industry is going through a fundamental technology change driven by the need to simplify network operations. Juniper has been building for this shift for over 5 years and we’re excited about the opportunity it brings us to challenge the data center switching old guard. Juniper Networks’ strategy has always been built on challenging that status quo and we have embraced the rise of software in networking. That is why Juniper is focused on innovation that matters most to our customers: hyper-scale, resilient, secure, highly intelligent, open and virtualized networks, which is reflected in strong customer adoption of Juniper’s MetaFabric architecture over the last two quarters. We’re confident that our history of innovation and business strategy will enable our customers to take full advantage of the benefits brought on by a software-defined network.

I think that Juniper is taking a good overall approach to this – automation and ease-of configuration base-lining is extremely important. If you can incorporate automation into a solution that has been battle-hardened, like Juniper or Arista that will be a winning combination.

It’s not opensource but it will be the earliest adopted disruptions in the networking market.

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