Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Juniper's 'Infranet' Initiative Growing Slowly

While it has yet to bear publishable proof of its work, Juniper's ambitious Infranet Initiative -- a plan to build open interconnectivity standards for next-generation IP-based networks -- is still moving ahead, according to officials at the high-end router and security appliance vendor.

At an analyst and media briefing Wednesday (Nov. 10), Juniper co-founder and chief technical officer Pradeep Sindhu said the year-old standards-setting effort now has more than 25 participating vendors, who are in the process of reviewing case studies of different types of networked applications to help the Infranet partners better determine how to build their first planned connectivity protocols.

Multi-provider virtual private networks (VPNs), fixed-mobile telecom service convergence, Web-based radio and video and high-performance software distribution are among the applications that Infranet members were studying, Sindhu said. While interesting, the work still only puts the group at the very earliest of early days in its attempts to build two connectivity protocols, one for client-network interfaces and the other for carrier-to-carrier communications. Those two protocols, Sindhu said, are the necessary first building blocks for future networks that can truly support demanding applications while also allowing service providers a way to measure and bill for advanced IP services.

While many industry observers agree with the premise of the Infranet Initiative, there are still questions about how meaningful the group's work will be if it does not include buy-in from networking behemoth Cisco Systems. When asked Wednesday if Cisco needed to participate, Sindhu deflected the question by saying: "Cisco's goals are aligned with ours -- we both want IP networks to succeed. What Juniper sees is that there are standards that need to be built, and they must be open."

While Juniper introduced the Infranet idea on its own, Sindhu and other company officials are quick to point out that they are now just one of many participants in the organization, which also includes heavyweight vendor names like IBM, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent, Ericsson and Siemens, as well as major service providers Qwest, British Telecom, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Level 3 and China Unicom.

  • 1