BT Group taps Juniper to enable services at increased scale and quality

AI-driven networks provider selected by UK’s largest telecommunications group for technology to meet experience and sustainability requirements of network applications across broadband, mobile and fixed networks

BT Group has selected Juniper Networks to support its ongoing transformation journey towards a highly scalable, automated and cloud-core infrastructure for business and consumer customers and aid in the roll-out of a nationwide 5G network.

The deal will see Juniper support BT to deliver improved sustainability using infrastructure consolidation, reduce required space and boost efficiency, as well as its roll-out of a 5G network at what it said will be an “unprecedented” scale, with improved agility and resilience for critical connectivity infrastructure.

The firm will also aim to provide scalability in the BT Network Cloud. This supports diverse network applications across broadband, fixed, mobile and other mission-critical services on a single platform, and is designed to optimise service quality and streamline operational deployment and management of core applications, which enables innovation and agility in delivering new services to market such as enhanced 5G services.

With the strategic deployment, Juniper said BT Network Cloud can now be scaled to accommodate multiple key network-centric applications, such as mobile voice and data, broadband authentication and IP voice calls for tens of millions of customers without extra overhead costs. The goal was to deploy a container-based fixed, broadband and mobile core that will boost business agility, operational efficiency and sustainability, and meet security compliance.

Included in this will be infrastructure consolidation and virtualisation, along with improved hardware density and power efficiency, and reduced space and power requirements in support of a more sustainable infrastructure.

Juniper said high-performance, high-availability fabric for BT Network Cloud provides extreme robustness and high performance for BT Group’s core applications across a widely distributed user base deployed at multiple locations across the UK. Moving from dedicated compute platforms for each application to a shared infrastructure conserves and optimises resources, leading to better resource utilisation and significantly lower environmental impact.

One of the key drivers for the technology upgrade was BT Group’s introduction of 5G through subsidiary EE. This, said Juniper, created “a unique opportunity” for BT Group to transform its core network to ensure it was well positioned to offer a dynamic range of new services to customers at unprecedented scale. BT Group chose to build a network cloud to provide a common shared platform for core applications, which operate its broadband, fixed and mobile services. BT Group has already migrated tens of millions of mobile subscribers and successfully deployed all of its mobile application infrastructure on its network cloud.

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BT is also using Juniper for open, software-defined networking (SDN), switching and firewall services for its network cloud. The service provider uses Juniper’s SDN platform to automate the creation and management of its OpenStack-based telco cloud. Contrail provides hybrid SDN orchestration and centralised control of virtual switching, routing and security. BT is running cloud-native containerised applications and optimising costs using OpenStack.

In addition, the combination of Juniper QFX Series Switches will aim to provide the high-performance, high-availability fabric needed to support the BT Network Cloud, which has rapidly become the largest container-based cloud infrastructure in the world, and is still growing. BT’s datacentres contain more than 1,000 Juniper QFX Series Switches and 2,000 Juniper vRouters, connecting all mission-critical application servers to the core network. Contrail is deployed on the servers to provide virtualised routing capability to connect workloads across BT’s network securely.

“Telecoms services have become central to business and consumer lives, and as the UK’s national network provider, BT Group has a particular responsibility to lead from the front to deliver the cloud-native, sustainable digital services of the future,” said Howard Watson, chief security and networks officer at BT Group.

“Our work with partners such as Juniper is helping to ensure that our critical infrastructure, network and services are agile, secure and resilient for the long term,” he said. “Our millions of customers can remain confident in the experience-led integrity of the everyday and exceptional digital services on which they rely.”

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