Juniper Networks has announced a new software package, Contrail Edge Cloud, designed to attract service providers and telcos that are building out high-bandwidth, low-latency applications and services for use cases including video, IoT, augmented reality, and even self-driving cars.
The Contrail Edge Cloud package bundles existing products from Juniper Networks and Red Hat. The package includes network virtualization, security and policy controls, visibility and analytics, and software to support virtualized and container-based applications.
The software is designed to run in edge environments where space and power might be constrained, such as mobile base stations. It could also run at other edge locations including service provider PoPs, virtualized central offices, or public venues such as arenas.
Juniper anticipates that service providers and telcos will build out thousands of edge nodes to support existing applications and services, as well as for new products that will take advantage of 5G deployments.
Contrail Edge Cloud software includes eight major components from Juniper and Red Hat:
- Contrail Networking
- Contrail Security
- cSRX, vSRX
- Red Hat Open Stack
- Red Hat Ceph Storage
- Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (Kubernetes instance)
Stack ‘Em Up
Here’s how all these components come together.
A central Contrail controller orchestrates and manages the remote edge nodes. This Contrail controller integrates with OpenStack Neutron and Kubernetes for centralized provisioning and configuration. Administrators can use the Contrail GUI to handle configuration, or switch to the OpenStack Controller or Kubernetes master interface.
Each edge node runs vRouter, Juniper’s virtualized router that provides L3 networking services for the virtual machines and containers that run on the edge node. It also provides VPN connectivity to the controller.
Contrail Security is policy management and enforcement software that integrates with Contrail Networking. Administrators can set firewall policies and use vSRX on edge nodes for distributed firewalls and cSRX for security controls in a container environment.
An OpenStack instance also runs on the edge node and supports VM-based applications. Red Hat’s Ceph storage software supports file, block, and object-based storage for applications, and can run on commodity hardware.
For customers that want to deploy container-based applications on edge nodes, Contrail Edge Cloud also includes OpenShift, which is Red Hat’s Kubernetes distribution. It supports a variety of container runtime libraries.
Juniper says it will also support other Kubernetes distributions.
The final component is AppFormix, Juniper’s visibility and analytics platform. An AppFormix agent runs on each node and can monitor and report on resource consumption for compute, storage, and networking. Agents report data back to a central controller for aggregation, analysis, and reporting.
You may have noticed that this announcement doesn’t say anything about hardware. That’s because Juniper isn’t selling any with this product; this is an all-software play.
Customers will choose their own x86-based hardware, both for the edge nodes and to run the controller infrastructure for Contrail Networking, Contrail Security, and AppFormix.
Also, while the product mixes Juniper and Red Hat software products, Juniper says it will provide the support for the entire solution.
Contrail Edge Cloud is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2018.