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Industry Summary Articles

Monday, December 11, 2017

Juniper Networks and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Forge Alliance to Solve IT-OT Convergence Challenges

Juniper Networks and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), which designs and builds digital systems to protect power grids around the world, together have jointly developed an end-to-end network orchestration platform that enables secure and seamless IT-OT convergence for the utilities sector. The new integrated solution brings together Juniper Event Driven Infrastructure (EDI) with SEL's software-defined networking (SDN) controller to unlock network telemetry data that ends unplanned downtime, improves asset utilization and automates condition-based maintenance.

Power and utility companies are modernizing equipment in the field with data-rich sensors that allow them to remotely monitor, proactively maintain and predictively troubleshoot to avoid truck rolls and unplanned downtime. The challenge, however, is that infusing modern IT applications like this within existing infrastructure can bring threats to the safety, reliability and operational performance of key operational technology (OT). Deploying separate, non-integrated IT and OT solutions can double operational expenses. The safe and reliable convergence of OT and IT is critical to meeting business and operational requirements.

The introduction of the Juniper and SEL joint programmable, end-to-end network solution puts utilities on the path to realizing the Self-Driving Network vision, providing the ability to centrally manage these IT-OT environments as a single asset. This allows them to use network telemetry from the field to proactively engineer application traffic with the extreme reliability required for safe operations. This jointly developed solution can reduce costs by providing centrally managed circuit provisioning and near real-time telemetry monitoring and improve network performance with microsecond network healing and availability of every path and port. Lastly, the solution brings fortified security with deny-by-default, whitelisted multi-layer packet inspection flow provisioning.

News highlights:

  • SEL Software-Defined Network Flow Controller and Network Switch. Enabling a combination of configurations, the SEL-5056 Controller proactively manages fault-tolerant networks in the energy and utility sectors. With the SEL-2740S, the industry's first field-hardened SDN switch, the solution enhances the performance of mission critical applications in harsh environments. Juniper's vMX virtual router is included as a virtual network function atop SEL's hardened Ethernet switch.
  • SEL ICON SONET Multiplexer. The wide-area-networking multiplexer is a hardened edge device that eases the migration of legacy network applications to a packet-based solution that interoperates with Juniper's MPLS or carrier Ethernet-based core networks.
  • Juniper EDI professional services offering. Juniper EDI enables seamless IT-OT convergence for automated operation, compliance, testing and the configuration of devices to ensure the safe inter-application coordination of critical workflows.
  • Juniper Networks vSRX virtual firewall. Juniper's virtual firewall, the vSRX, provides full next-generation security capabilities and automated life-cycle management at speeds of up to 100 Gbps.
  • Juniper Contrail Service Orchestration. At the heart of the solution is Juniper's orchestration platform that simplifies and automates the design and implementation of custom IT-OT network services in a multivendor environment that uses an open framework to deliver a comprehensive service lifecycle management system.

The Juniper-SEL solution provides all of the programmability needed to optimize the network for facility infrastructures and deliver the performance that IT applications demand. Using centralized configuration with virtualization capabilities for the entire physical and logical network, the system enhances security while ensuring NERC CIP compliance to drive down capital and operational expenses.

"Digital operations are transforming the energy sector. Today's API-converged software and IoT systems offer new insights, new efficiencies, and greatly reduce costs. SEL and Juniper Networks are leading this change together, making the Self-Driving Network™ a reality by bringing the most advanced security and networking orchestration to the utilities industry. The end-to-end united IT-OT management demonstrates the future of simplified operations,” said James Kelly, Lead Cloud/SDN Architect, Juniper Networks.

"SEL and Juniper Networks simplify network control systems whether they are core or substation technologies. Juniper's ability to orchestrate and automate network elements, combined with our industry leading SDN controller and hardware technologies, greatly simplify how the energy industry can manage infrastructures in the digital age,” contributed Dave Whitehead, Chief Operating Officer, SEL.

To view the original press release, please click here.

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