Node Slicing is a Junos OS feature that enables service providers and large enterprises to create multiple partitions from a single physical MX Series router. Each partition behaves as an independent router, with its own dedicated control plane, data plane, and management plane, allowing you to run multiple services on a single physical router. Junos Node Slicing enables companies to deploy an end-to-end network slicing architecture in the context of 5G. It provides a new way to converge networks, scale infrastructure, deploy services, and manage risk.
Benefits of Node Slicing
Traditionally, service providers and large enterprises have been operating complex physical network infrastructures to serve their customers. Such traditional infrastructures are very expensive and less agile, making it difficult for companies to scale their infrastructure to cater to the rapidly changing needs of users.
By leveraging cloud principles, Junos Node Slicing helps companies create a more agile, virtualized, and converged infrastructure, enabling them to consolidate multiple network functions into a single physical router.
Service providers can consolidate multiple network services, such as video edge and voice edge, into a single physical router, while still maintaining operational separation between them. Convergence improves agility of the infrastructure, maximizes resource utilization, and reduces capital expenditure. You can achieve both horizontal and vertical convergence. Horizontal convergence consolidates router functions of the same layer to a single router, while vertical convergence collapses router functions of different layers into a single router.
Bringing together multiple network functions to a single fully redundant physical device reduces the number of physical devices in the network, making network management easier and cost-effective. Focusing on virtual routing partitions, instead of physical devices, increases the programmability and scalability of the network, and agility to respond to infrastructure requirements without having to buy additional hardware.
Though multiple network functions converge on a single chassis, all the functions run independently, benefiting from operational, functional, and administrative separation. Partitioning a physical system, such as Broadband Network Gateway (BNG), into multiple independent logical instances ensures that failures are isolated. The partitions do not share the control plane or the forwarding plane, but only share the same chassis, space, and power. This means failure in one partition does not cause any widespread service outage.
Reduce Network Costs - Junos Node Slicing enables interconnection of GNFs (partitions) through internal switching fabrics, which leverages an Abstracted Fabric (AF) interface, a pseudo interface that represents a first class Ethernet interface behavior. With an AF interface in place, companies no longer need to depend on physical interfaces to connect GNFs, resulting in significant savings.
Reduce Time-to-Market for New Services and Capabilities - Each GNF can operate on a different Junos software version enabling companies to evolve each GNF at its own pace. If a company needs to deploy a new service or a feature on a certain GNF, and it requires a new software release, only the GNF involved requires an update. This simplifies the software release certification processes and software deployment. Additionally with increased agility, Junos Node Slicing enables service providers and enterprises to implement the flexible Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) business model to respond rapidly to ever-changing market conditions.
In the node slicing setup, an MX Series router functions as the base system (BSYS). The base system owns all the physical components of the router (such as line cards and the switching fabric) and assigns line cards to each partition configured in the router. The partitions, called GNFs, are hosted on a pair of external industry standard x86 servers, and act as independent routers.