Chris Lewis, Independent Industry Analyst and Host of “Get Connected”

Transition to Cloud-Native and Distributed Edge Architectures in Service Provider Networks

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Juniper Cloud-Native Solutions: Go beyond basic connectivity.

As network operators increasingly move towards becoming more cloud-native, all networking domains (transport, RAN and CORE) will be profoundly impacted. In this episode of the Get Connected podcast, Juniper’s Pavan Kurapati talks with host Chris Lewis about the various aspects of transitioning to cloud-native and how it’s accelerated by disaggregation and distributed architecture strategies from service providers. 

Listen as they discuss what opportunities Juniper sees in the virtualization of the 5G SA Core Network, how Juniper fits into the new hyperscaler ecosystem, and how Juniper is bringing visibility that will allow all of the different flows to work correctly in the long run to create reliability for customers. 

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You’ll learn

  • The four key trends and high level transitions shaping the marketplace, according to Pavan 

  • Kubernetes is going to be the de facto orchestration platform, whether for RAN or the CORE

  • The benefits Open-RAN brings to service providers as Juniper sees it 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Chris Lewis Headshot
Chris Lewis
Independent Industry Analyst and Host of “Get Connected”

Guest speakers

Pavan Kurapati headshot
Pavan Kurapati
Head of Global Service Provider Architecture, Juniper Networks


0:00 [Music]

0:03 get connected

0:06 you're listening to get connected

0:09 thanks for joining us

0:13 in this series we discuss the various

0:16 issues shaping your industry how the

0:18 changes in supplier ecosystems impact

0:20 the way you work on a daily basis how

0:23 your customers consume the services you

0:25 create and how the industry as a whole

0:27 steps up to the demands of the digital

0:29 marketplace let's get connected

0:36 hello listener let's get connected

0:41 my name is chris lewis

0:43 by day i'm an independent industry

0:45 analyst

0:46 by night as i'm sure you know by now i'm

0:49 a podcaster

0:53 welcome to get connected where we delve

0:56 into the issues shaping the networking

0:58 industry and the experiences we all

1:01 benefit from by being better connected

1:05 in this episode we're continuing the

1:06 journey into cloud the transition to

1:09 cloud native and the shift to this more

1:11 distributed architecture for the service

1:13 provider environment

1:15 i'm delighted to welcome pavan kurapati

1:18 chief architect sp global architecture

1:21 at juniper back to get connected welcome

1:24 back pavan and please remind us of your

1:26 background and your role within juniper

1:29 thank you chris this is uh indeed my

1:31 pleasure to talk to you again i am the

1:33 chief architect of global sp

1:35 architecture for juniper and in my role

1:38 me and my team are responsible for all

1:40 the emerging technologies that our

1:43 service provider customers are investing

1:45 in and we make sure we develop the

1:47 solutions that are more forward-looking

1:50 for the sp customers

1:51 so to start us off then we're talking

1:54 about this continued journey into the

1:56 cloud and the migration the move the

1:58 change in architectures what are the

2:00 high level transitions that you're

2:01 seeing that are shaping the marketplace

2:03 for you so the biggest trends in 5g is

2:06 the transition to virtualization and

2:08 cloud native network functions let me

2:11 start with the ran virtualizing of ran

2:13 and running on general purpose hardware

2:16 instead of the appliances that are more

2:18 standard until 5g came so that's the

2:21 biggest trend i'm seeing in the ran you

2:23 know virtualizing of ran is going to

2:25 take place irrespective of whether you

2:27 talk about the orion ecosystem or not

2:30 desegregation through open ran ecosystem

2:33 is again taking off i was in barcelona

2:36 you know mobile world congress where

2:37 everybody is talking about how

2:39 virtualization of ran is going to save a

2:42 ton of cost for service providers

2:44 the sa core the standalone core in 5g

2:47 that's designed to be fully cloud native

2:50 and based on the cloud native principles

2:52 along with the services-based

2:54 architecture so that's going to change

2:56 how 5g is deployed kubernetes we were

2:59 talking about a lot of cloud native

3:01 principles here so kubernetes is going

3:04 to be the de facto orchestration

3:06 platform whether it is for the ran or

3:08 for the core

3:09 and in order to deploy all these things

3:12 before 5g

3:14 most of the mobility traffic used to be

3:16 backhaul to a centralized data center

3:19 where you would bring all the traffic to

3:20 a central location and from there you

3:22 would serve but that is changing quite a

3:25 bit now so telco cloud is transitioning

3:28 from centralized to distributed edge

3:30 architecture to be able to host these

3:32 cloud native network functions that i

3:34 just talked about the ran and the core

3:37 so i think in my opinion virtualization

3:40 of ran the 5g standalone core kubernetes

3:43 becoming a de facto orchestration

3:45 platform and

3:46 moving from centralized to distributed

3:48 edge architecture these are the key

3:50 trends that we are tracking and working

3:52 actively on i totally agree and the fact

3:54 is that we're talking about this more

3:56 distributed architecture where we're

3:58 moving the resources to where it's

4:00 required to actually execute right you

4:02 mentioned rand virtualization

4:04 specifically in there at the cell site

4:07 you know juniper is known for its work

4:09 around the transport as you said and the

4:11 traditional routing that we've seen in

4:12 place how are you seeing the cloud

4:15 native

4:16 developing and how is run virtualization

4:18 impacting that

4:20 that's a great question chris so

4:22 the ran as i said is getting virtualized

4:25 and especially with iran desegregation

4:28 there are cases where you run the dus at

4:30 the cell site itself and if it's a

4:32 virtualized u it runs on a general

4:34 purpose x86 based server

4:37 so we do have physical sell side routers

4:40 juniper provides these physical sell

4:42 side routers for front hall and mid-hall

4:44 connectivity and two main important

4:47 aspects of sell side routers are timing

4:49 and synchronization especially

4:51 classy timing and hardened cell side

4:54 routers as well as the routing stack

4:56 required

4:57 to support the network slicing

4:58 capabilities

5:00 now for some distributed ran

5:01 architectures especially where you know

5:04 you only require sub 25 gig or sub 50

5:07 gig mid hall capacity this is where

5:10 things become lot more interesting

5:12 because here you might save operational

5:15 expenses if you eliminate an additional

5:17 physical device at the sell side and

5:20 that's where juniper is working on what

5:22 we call as a cloud native router

5:24 the idea here is to take best of both

5:27 worlds which is junos routing that runs

5:30 on all our routers

5:32 we take that and we containerize that

5:34 which is our containerized routing stack

5:36 as a control plane and then we take our

5:39 contrail dpdk forwarding plane and

5:41 deploy it as two different parts which

5:44 forms the brain of junos and the

5:47 forwarding plane of contrail and that's

5:49 integrated with the kubernetes cni

5:51 framework that i talked about before so

5:55 that cloud native router is where we

5:57 think the dram deployments with the sub

6:01 50gb hall will go and it's so

6:04 interesting because we're bringing so

6:05 many things into into the mix here so

6:07 cloud native routing does sound very

6:09 interesting at the sale side but what

6:11 kind of integration are you looking for

6:13 and expecting from the ran and the

6:14 hardware vendors oh great question again

6:17 very minimal integration from the rand

6:19 vendors in fact the networking for the

6:22 ran especially when you're looking at

6:24 the du and let's say you require three

6:27 slices one say going to vpn green

6:31 another to blue another to red going to

6:33 three different locations

6:35 typically you would tend to put all that

6:37 information in kubernetes manifest and

6:40 we automatically translate that into

6:42 junos construct without you doing

6:45 anything as a rand vendor you don't have

6:47 to do any additional configurations for

6:50 example to make that happen

6:52 from hardware again we understand that

6:54 this is a resource constrained

6:56 environment we are talking about having

6:58 very less cores for routing

7:01 and we do understand that and we operate

7:03 in a very limited core budget so for

7:05 example today we only need about two

7:07 cores to run our entire routing stack

7:10 and still be able to provide the

7:12 required mid hall capacity

7:14 in addition to that we are also

7:15 exploring the offloads for example on uh

7:18 offloading the entire data plane on

7:20 fpgas as well as on the smart mix

7:23 what i always like about this

7:24 development in the industry is that

7:26 nobody can do everything but the skills

7:29 being brought to the table by everybody

7:31 really complement each other it's a

7:33 convergence of of it of transport of

7:36 networking of all of these things but i

7:38 think what really comes to mind when we

7:40 talk about this is that the scale of

7:41 these virtual elements is going to be

7:43 absolutely enormous

7:45 how are you going to automate the

7:46 install and the provisioning of all of

7:48 these pieces oh you are absolutely right

7:51 as we talked about before we are talking

7:53 about tens of thousands of cell sites

7:55 that will require this kind of

7:58 features and functionality so yes the

8:00 scale is enormous so again the key idea

8:04 here is to follow kubernetes best

8:06 practices because kubernetes has

8:08 built-in aspects that will take care of

8:10 the life cycle management just to give

8:12 you some examples so we provide helm

8:15 charts that will define and you know

8:17 install

8:18 all the routing stack the parts that are

8:20 required so we use helm charts it's

8:22 literally just a one line that will

8:24 bring up the entire parts in terms of

8:27 provisioning i talked to you about that

8:29 before we can take

8:31 the networking constructs from the

8:33 kubernetes manifest and we automatically

8:35 translate that terraform is very popular

8:38 these days junos supports terraform

8:41 providers so you can actually come in

8:43 and provision things using terraform in

8:46 addition to that it is a regular junos

8:49 it's just in a cloud native form so we

8:51 support all the interfaces that are

8:53 exposed in junos for example

8:55 either netconf and you can come through

8:58 psap you can talk bgp you can use our

9:01 rpd apis you can use exactly the same

9:04 way that you would use any other juniper

9:06 device so that's really the key for us

9:09 automation is very very important at

9:12 this scale and we are doing everything

9:14 to utilize kubernetes ecosystem you're

9:17 talking tens of thousands potentially

9:19 even more than that the densification of

9:21 the network has been moving to the 5g

9:23 world and farther on into the 6g world

9:25 means that we're going to get denser and

9:26 denser and denser so forward-looking we

9:28 really have to nail this in terms of

9:30 making sure we can automate and deliver

9:32 it right right exactly absolutely so

9:34 that looks to be from a desegregation

9:36 perspective a great story in the

9:38 transport

9:39 but talking about disaggregation more

9:41 generally and especially in the ran

9:43 how do you see the open ran and how does

9:45 juniper see the open run environment and

9:47 the benefits it brings to the service

9:49 providers right as i said i was in

9:51 mobile world congress and i could hear a

9:54 lot of people being very positive about

9:57 oran

9:58 taking off especially the open

10:00 interfaces that are essential

10:02 for the oren ecosystem right so

10:04 disaggregation

10:05 traditionally when you talk about tran

10:07 it's vertically integrated into an

10:09 appliance

10:10 now the disaggregation allows you to

10:13 divide it into multiple components and

10:15 you can mix and match right you can mix

10:17 and match the ru's du's and cu's with

10:20 multiple vendor ecosystem so that's

10:22 really really healthy for the service

10:25 provider networks

10:26 one of the key aspects we are also

10:28 noticing is you know the decoupling of

10:30 ran intelligence and removing some part

10:33 of the intelligence away from the

10:35 traditional appliance and deploying it

10:37 as applications like use aiml to get the

10:41 data from the ran and deploy it as an

10:43 application ecosystem so we see that

10:46 rick which is the ran intelligence

10:48 controller

10:49 that provides a thriving application

10:51 ecosystem in the form of x apps and r

10:53 apps in the marketplace so all the

10:56 intelligence is going to be i think in

10:58 the applications we're talking about

11:01 spectrum utilization efficiencies for

11:04 example like 30 to 40 percent of savings

11:06 in spectrum utilization sustainability

11:09 as an aspect sla management and so many

11:12 applications that can be developed in

11:15 this environment especially in the rand

11:17 desegregation so we

11:19 do believe oran especially in the ric

11:21 and the application ecosystem

11:23 that

11:24 is provided through the oran approach is

11:27 going to be

11:28 crucial for 5g deployments

11:31 that supply ecosystem is so important

11:33 but speaking specifically about rick

11:35 which is getting such a lot of attention

11:36 at the moment how do you see that being

11:38 deployed we are designing rick to be

11:41 cloud native from day one the platform

11:43 itself is being built on cloud native

11:45 principles so what it means is rick can

11:47 run on service provider private cloud

11:50 platform that is there in their on-prem

11:53 or if they're using a hyperscaler

11:55 platform in their premises the rick can

11:57 run on that platform as well that

12:00 flexibility of where the ran is running

12:02 obviously fits in with what we're seeing

12:04 in the server provider community where

12:06 they're looking at all sorts of

12:07 different implementations their own

12:09 environments as you said or indeed in

12:10 the hyperscaler world

12:12 now we've talked a lot about ram

12:15 in mobile networks the epc in the 4g

12:18 world is where virtualization really

12:20 started

12:21 the 5g standalone core is cloud and

12:23 microservices based what opportunities

12:26 does juniper see in the virtualization

12:28 of the 5g sa core great question chris

12:31 so 5g core vendors as i talked to you

12:33 about

12:34 5g core previously it is designed to be

12:37 services based and you will require an

12:40 orchestration platform to host these

12:42 network functions and typically 5g core

12:44 vendors try to sell their own vertically

12:46 integrated platforms to host their core

12:49 applications claiming that you will get

12:51 better performance of their core running

12:54 on their platform but i think we are

12:56 seeing operators looking at this as an

12:59 opportunity to disaggregate and

13:01 build a horizontal cloud platform where

13:04 they can run these 5g core network

13:07 functions to avoid the vendor lock-in

13:09 and this is where we see a big

13:11 opportunity for contrail so today

13:15 we have

13:16 5g core even the 4g virtualized core

13:19 running on contrail based horizontal

13:21 cloud platforms where contrail provides

13:24 the overlay networking initially we did

13:27 all this work with openstack but now we

13:29 are seeing this migrate to kubernetes

13:31 based ecosystem so from our point of

13:34 view we think contrail networking

13:37 provides huge differentiation especially

13:40 with respect to providing advanced

13:42 networking features such as you know bgp

13:44 as a service advanced security

13:47 especially in the multi-tenant and the

13:49 name space network isolation and other

13:51 aspects the multi-cluster networking

13:54 which is very important in the 5g

13:56 standalone code deployment so all of

13:58 these are key differentiators from

14:01 networking point of view when you are

14:02 talking about building these horizontal

14:04 platforms and that's where we think

14:06 contrail networking is evolving into

14:09 more cloud native

14:10 form we call it cloud native control

14:12 networking or cn2 or cn square

14:15 the other aspect which is also very

14:17 important is the underlay networking

14:20 where you have leaf and spine you need

14:22 to provision and configure but more

14:24 importantly it need to integrate well

14:27 with the orchestration platforms that

14:29 you are using

14:30 for the standalone core and here is

14:32 where we think our intent based fabric

14:35 management which is abstract that

14:37 juniper acquired plays a very important

14:40 role

14:40 and we have been helping various

14:42 operators with the appstra as well as

14:45 contrail based horizontal cloud

14:48 platforms

14:49 to be able to host these 5g cloud native

14:51 applications especially in the

14:53 standalone core what is fascinating here

14:55 is as you quietly write pointed out the

14:57 underlay and the overlay building these

14:58 things together and you brought those

15:00 into juniper to help in the in your

15:02 delivery but what we're also seeing is

15:05 announcements about some of the telcos

15:06 working with the hyperscalers to move

15:08 workloads such as 5g core into those

15:11 hyperscale environments so we've seen it

15:13 with dish with aws and we've seen it

15:14 with att with azure how do you see

15:18 juniper fitting into this this

15:20 hyperscaler ecosystem

15:22 again another great question we do see

15:24 these strengths as you said moving into

15:27 hyperscalers especially running these

15:29 virtualized network functions in the 5g

15:32 space whether it is ran or core requires

15:35 you to invest in the infrastructure and

15:37 the platform so one of the aspects that

15:39 some operators feel

15:41 is easier to do is simply run it in the

15:43 hyperscaler environment right where

15:46 hyperscalers would provide the required

15:48 infrastructure and platform and you can

15:50 just take care of the network functions

15:52 or the applications here whether it is

15:54 the core or the ran

15:56 i think some of the challenges that we

15:58 are seeing is

16:00 it's not just about having the 5g core

16:02 running in a hyperscaler environment

16:04 things just come up but it's about

16:07 connecting these 5g core network

16:09 functions or interconnecting them

16:12 that's where there are a lot of

16:14 challenges because the networking

16:16 requirements for example to host the

16:18 standalone core you will need network

16:20 segmentation you will need to extend

16:23 your current vpns in your on-prem data

16:26 centers into the hyperscaler data

16:28 centers so terminating those overlay

16:32 tunnels as well as to be able to provide

16:34 network segmentation these are

16:36 challenges that you will find in all

16:38 three hyperscalers to be honest and

16:40 that's where we come into picture we are

16:43 very actively working with all the three

16:45 hyperscalers to address these networking

16:48 requirements i talked about juniper

16:50 cloud native router in the oran space

16:53 before it's actually the same cloud

16:56 native router that we are

16:58 working with the hyperscalers to be able

17:00 to deploy in an auto scale cluster which

17:04 will provide these network segmentation

17:06 capabilities

17:07 and be able to

17:09 interconnect these vpcs that are hosting

17:13 the 5g core elements so in a nutshell we

17:16 think that is an opportunity for us

17:19 where if the service providers are

17:21 looking at hyperscalers to host these

17:23 network functions we come in and help

17:25 them in connectivity and automate all

17:28 the connectivity aspects whether it is

17:31 between their edge cloud and public

17:33 cloud or between the vpcs within the

17:35 public cloud

17:36 and it's fascinating isn't it it's these

17:38 little elements in between so it's

17:40 working with the hyperscalers so it's

17:42 not one part of the ecosystem imposing a

17:44 way of working on the other is the

17:46 visibility that you're bringing to the

17:47 table which will allow all of these

17:49 different flows to work correctly in the

17:51 long run absolutely absolutely yeah and

17:54 we've talked primarily here about the

17:56 wireless environment because of course

17:57 5g gets a lot of that attention from the

17:59 marketplace but what about the y line

18:02 side do you see similar trends on the

18:04 wireline side of the the argument oh

18:06 yeah i mean the desegregation that is

18:08 true even in the wireline world take an

18:10 example of bng we are talking about cups

18:14 which is the control and user plane

18:15 separation that's already happening so

18:18 the bng control plane is already

18:20 separated and it can be run as micro

18:23 services in any cloud platform so today

18:27 we have our bng control plane which is

18:29 completely micro services based it can

18:32 run on on-prem cloud um if you are using

18:35 any on-prem hyperscaler infrastructure

18:38 like aws wavelength for example we can

18:41 run the bngc even on hyperscaler

18:44 infrastructure the key is you need to

18:46 design it right follow the kubernetes

18:48 based ecosystem and the same principles

18:51 apply to wire line world as well

18:53 it's great to hear because i think all

18:54 too often we don't think about the fact

18:56 that as consumers we take wi-line

18:58 services we take wireless services we

19:00 want that quality of service to be

19:02 delivered throughout and what is

19:04 becoming increasingly evident is that we

19:06 need the different players in the

19:07 ecosystem so people like yourselves

19:09 people like the hype scalers and of

19:10 course the service providers themselves

19:12 to be working much more closely together

19:14 to have that management to make sure

19:16 that reliability gets delivered through

19:18 to all of us as users

19:20 pavan

19:21 fantastic to have you with us again

19:22 thank you so much for having joined us

19:24 on get connected it was great talking to

19:27 you chris uh thank you so much for

19:28 having me

19:30 so there you have it listener we

19:32 continue this journey into cloud we

19:34 continue bringing together the elements

19:36 of the cloud environment the service

19:38 providers and the ecosystem of suppliers

19:41 to be able to work with everybody to

19:43 deliver the quality of service that

19:45 underpins the future of the digital

19:47 marketplace

19:48 not only is it required in the wireless

19:50 world it's required in the fixed world

19:51 as well we bring together the benefits

19:53 of having this continuous integration

19:56 the continuous management of all of the

19:57 services we're beginning to build that

19:59 momentum as cloud brings all of these

20:01 capabilities to give the scale that we

20:04 need to support all of those services in

20:06 the future

20:09 thank you for joining us on get

20:10 connected thank you to pavan thank you

20:13 to juniper and thank you too for

20:15 listening

20:18 you've been listening to get connected

20:21 you've heard from us now we'd love to

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20:34 thanks for listening to get connected

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