In a conference call with reporters and industry analysts after the announcement, Juniper co-founder and chief technology officer Pradeep Sindh said the real value of SDN won’t be in lower capital expenditures because there will be a “controller in the sky” and all network devices will disappear.
Instead, he said, SDN’s advantage will be in lower operating expenditures thanks to network automation and agility.
Laliberte says that among the strengths of Juniper’s strategy will be having its own software-based controller – a key for SDN -- and services. “The only identifiable gap I saw was the lack of a Juniper developed virtual switch environment, which will be critical for the creation of overlay networks,” he wrote. He believes Juniper [NYSE: JNPR] will leverage that from others.
Juniper, he added, is taking a blended or hybrid approach to SDN by having its controller use BGP and XMPP to communicate with their switches. Other manufacturers, like Hewlett-Packard, are more focused on the OpenFlow protocol.
By comparison, he said, Cisco Systems Inc. [Nasdaq: CSCO] has a three-way strategy: Use APIs that open up access to switches (aimed largely for service providers); build a controller with OpenFlow in certain Catalyst switches for higher ed and research customers; and expand capabilities of its Nexus 1000v virtual switch for those who want to get into SDN with overlay networks.