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NEC, Juniper Partner on Network Functions Virtualization

NEC Corp. will add Juniper Networks' network functions virtualization (NFV) software and hardware to its cloud infrastructure offerings in an expansion of their partnership targeting enterprises and service providers, according to an announcement today.

NFV, along with software-defined networking (SDN), provides network agility and programmability by virtualizing services, moving functionality such as load balancing and firewalling from proprietary hardware devices to virtual machine (VM) software.

In the new initiative, Juniper's NFV-based solutions will be combined with the OpenStack-based NEC Cloud System infrastructure. Juniper will provide virtual network functions (VNFs) including its vMX routing platform and vSRX Virtual Firewall.

NEC is also adding components from NetCracker, a company it acquired in 2008. Those consist of NetCracker's Business Support Systems (BSS) and Operations Support Systems (OSS) products, service orchestration, systems integration and consulting.

"Juniper Networks' networking equipment and VNFs (vMX and vSRX) are the building blocks that enable NFV solutions to deliver greater levels of business agility through automation," the companies said in a statement today. "NEC will leverage Juniper Networks' NFV-ready hardware and software within their enterprise virtualized Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) solution to enable the flexibility of a virtualized service environment.

Juniper's Contribution
[Click on image for larger view.] Juniper's Contribution (source: Juniper Networks).

"When combined with NetCracker OSS/BSS and end-to-end service orchestration capabilities, the solution can provide service providers and enterprise customers with a viable means of delivering cloud-based business services in a fully automated fashion in near real-time."

NEC and Juniper have been collaborating since 2003, they said, on joint initiatives including microwave/IP backhaul and optical/IP integration. Now they're adding NVF and SDN into the mix.

"As part of its commitment to delivering an open, best-in-breed NFV-based solution, NEC has led an SDN/NFV ecosystem program with more than 40 partners worldwide," said NEC exec Atsuo Kawamura. "NEC is thrilled to be working closely with Juniper through this expanded alliance, which will further reinforce the ecosystem and allow NEC and Juniper to jointly offer NFV-based solutions that enable the introduction of innovative new services at higher speed and lower cost."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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