​Juniper's OpenContrail SDN rebranded as Tungsten Fabric


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Sometimes, rebranding is a good thing. Juniper NetworksOpenContrail was an excellent open-source software-defined network (SDN) program. But, it was perceived as being too much under Juniper’s thumb to draw many outside developers. Realizing this, Juniper spun OpenContrail out into a community-controlled project under the The Linux Foundation. That left the name, so Juniper and the community decided to rebrand it: Tungsten Fabric.

Like its direct ancestor, Tungsten Fabric is a scalable, multi-cloud networking platform. It provides a single point of control, observability, and analytics for networking and security. The program is also integrated with many cloud technology stacks, including Kubernetes, Mesos, VMware, and OpenStack.

Tungsten Fabric also includes a high performance vRouter that connects container, virtual machine, and bare-metal applications. This includes a controller which orchestrates network overlays, switch fabrics, and router gateways.

If this sounds a lot like another Linux Foundation project, OpenDaylight, you’re right, it does. Randy Bias, Juniper’s VP Technology and Strategy, said in an interview at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles, “There is some overlap between OpenDaylight and Tungsten. That just means both teams must work harder and better. We’ll take different approaches, but I think cooperation is the way forward.” Bias added, “We see customers deploying both OpenDaylight and Tungsten. People want choices for the right program in the right place and we want to give them that choice.”

“We’re pleased to create Tungsten Fabric with a neutral governance under The Linux Foundation,” added Arpit Joshipura, The Linux Foundation’s general manager of networking. “The set-up allows Tungsten Fabric to collaborate with other Linux Foundation and Networking projects. We’re looking forward to expanded collaboration across a growing software-defined ecosystem.”

“This move to the Linux Foundation is a critical step in Tungsten Fabric’s evolution as a ubiquitous network fabric,” continued Bias. “Tungsten Fabric’s positioning as an open-source, multi-cloud, multi-stack network fabric that has been proven at scale. Tungsten Fabric provides choice and is committed to helping customers achieve their network and security nirvana while eliminating vendor lock-in.”

AT&T, one of OpenContrail’s biggest fans, was pleased with this move. Chris Rice, AT&T senior vice president, Domain 2.0 Architecture & Design, said in a statement, “We expect this move to foster greater innovation, and we support Tungsten Fabric’s commitment to open networking.”

OpenContrail isn’t going away entirely. The name will live on in Juniper Contrail. This will be Juniper’s commercial version of Tungsten Fabric.

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