The emerging OpenFlow approach to building programmable, scalable networks is continuing to gain traction. The latest vendor to jump into the fray is Juniper Networks with a Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables Juniper users to try out OpenFlow.
“There is a big divide between applications and the network that applications run on,” Mike Bushong Senior Director, Product Management/Marketing at Juniper told InternetNews.com. “If you look at where application are going, they need to be aware of the network and similarly the network has to take advantage of more information that resides in the application. OpenFlow is one of the technologies that allows those two worlds to talk to each other.”
Bushong noted that OpenFlow is still a new effort and requires more use and test cases. That’s why Juniper has built the OpenFlow SDK. Bushong said that by making the OpenFlow SDK available, they’re putting it in the hands of developers that can experiment with the technology.
“The way OpenFlow works is that there is a controller that talks to a number of network devices,” Bushong explained. “So on each of the devices there is an OpenFlow client that talks to the controller.”
The basic idea with OpenFlow is you can connect multiple switches and even networks together to create a flow. What Juniper has done is make an OpenFlow client available for Juniper’s MX and T-series routers. The T-series is Juniper’s flagship core routing platform.