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Contrail Overview

Juniper Networks Contrail is an open, standards-based software solution that delivers network virtualization and service automation for federated cloud networks. It provides self-service provisioning, improves network troubleshooting and diagnostics, and enables service chaining for dynamic application environments across enterprise virtual private cloud (VPC), managed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Networks Functions Virtualization use cases.

Contrail simplifies the creation and management of virtual networks to enable policy-based automation, greatly reducing the need for physical and operational infrastructure typically required to support network management. In addition, it uses mature technologies to address key challenges of large-scale managed environments, including multitenancy, network segmentation, network access control, and IP service enablement. These challenges are particularly difficult in evolving dynamic application environments such as the Web, gaming, big data, cloud, and the like.

Contrail allows a tenant or a cloud service provider to abstract virtual networks at a higher layer to eliminate device-level configuration and easily control and manage policies for tenant virtual networks. A browser-based user interface enables users to define virtual network and network service policies, then configure and interconnect networks simply by attaching policies. Contrail also extends native IP capabilities to the hosts (compute nodes) in the data center to address the scale, resiliency, and service enablement challenges of traditional orchestration platforms.

Using Contrail, a tenant can define, manage, and control the connectivity, services, and security policies of the virtual network. The tenant or other users can use the self-service graphical user interface to easily create virtual network nodes, add and remove IP services (such as firewall, load balancing, DNS, and the like) to their virtual networks, then connect the networks using traffic policies that are simple to create and apply. Once created, policies can be applied across multiple network nodes, changed, added, and deleted, all from a simple browser-based interface.

Contrail can be used with open cloud orchestration systems such as OpenStack. It can also interact with other systems and applications based on Operations Support System (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS), using northbound APIs. Contrail allows customers to build elastic architectures that leverage the benefits of cloud computing — agility, self-service, efficiency, and flexibility — while providing an interoperable, scale-out control plane for network services within and across network domains.