Juniper Networks designs engineering innovation, simplicity into network slicing

Is infrastructure complexity stifling your “agility” to respond? Perhaps it’s time to rethink your network infrastructure and its operations.

Juniper Networks Feb 22nd 2018

With engineering simplicity as a key tenet, Juniper has expanded its recently announced library of Juniper Bots, with the introduction of the Juniper Contrail Network SlicingBot.

Contrail NetworkSlicing Bot automates the provisioning and management of network slicing across both physical and virtual infrastructure. It ushers in a distinctive automation experience based on higher-level business requirements written in human language (“the what”) and translates into actionable workflows (“the how”). For example, “I need a slice with these characteristics:  control plane, max latency, security, … for IoT, Business, and/or Residential Services.” It is designed to automate both CUPS and Junos Node Slicing end to end across the network at scale. By incorporating real-time analytics and continuously validating the intended business requirement, the Contrail NetworkSlicing Bot leverages Juniper’s intent-driven software architecture, incorporating cross-domain resource management, cross-level resource modeling, and extensible APIs for heterogeneous environment integration.

With the emergence of 5G, Edge computing and IoT trends, network operators are facing complexities that are driving them to re-think the way they design, provision and deploy these emerging services. In addition, customers are more empowered than ever, demanding applications on-demand, anywhere, anytime, and customized for their specific needs. The current best effort transport and edge services are not good enough, as both subscribers and applications have far higher expectations of quality.

Islands of heterogeneous service infrastructure are straining operational and management systems to the point of unsustainable economics. Network operators are realizing that they need a flexible network-as-a-platform built on high performance infrastructure that can be “sliced” into isolated networks that mask the complexities of the underlying environment - referred to as network slicing. Additionally, operators are embracing Control Plane User Plane separation (CUPS) to enable a distributed cloud infrastructure. CUPS marries the scalability of virtual control-planes with high performance user-planes, increasing network agility and improving user experience.

Network slicing and CUPS form the foundational principles to enable network-as-a-platform for distributed mobile cloud. Network slicing is a powerful mechanism that an operator can use to create dedicated network resources from a shared network infrastructure to provide multiple services with specific user and application requirements.  Slicing may be performed in various ways on a variety of network resources depending on the operator’s service environment.  Typical examples include physical and logical isolation of network connectivity and services with differing QoS guarantees; isolated slices of residential, business, IOT and mobile services; and specific pre-defined network functions. Network slicing also gives the operator full flexibility to either logically or physically lease a portion of their network to external or internal entities with specified functionality and expected quality of experience.

Juniper is combining The Self-Driving Network innovations with our high-performance MX router to deliver Network Slicing. Control-plane independent node-slicing on the industry-leading MX Series, coupled with the programmable virtual Junos control-plane, forms the foundation of our network slicing solutions. The open MX platform also integrates partners’ virtual control planes for innovative network slicing of various network domains, including mobile.


At Juniper, we strive to bring engineering simplicity to increasingly complex networks. We engineered operational simplicity into the Contrail Network SlicingBot to simplify network slicing across a distributed cloud infrastructure with the power of automation defined in human terms for next generation services.

“The truth is that you can’t actually get rid of complexity, you can only control where it shows up. And that’s our job here at Juniper. We design solutions whose primary aim is to handle complexity so that you don’t have to,” says Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks.