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Transforming our service provider network and operations

by James Dancer (James_Dancer) ‎12-06-2016 07:38 AM - edited ‎12-06-2016 07:51 AM

The Academia Technology Group provides cloud, connectivity and mobile solutions from the desktop through to the data center. We launched our initial cloud and hosting infrastructure from a single data center, but we’d reached a performance ceiling and we wanted to increase the resilience of our solutions. So we decided to expand our operations to a second data center, which would add additional complexity to the network demands. Reliability was a critical requirement, as was ease-of use and simplification of the new operating environment.

 

We chose Juniper Networks to expand our network infrastructure because it offered a future-proof, best-in-class networking, value for money and a single unified operating system. It’s proven to be a great choice. We use Juniper Networks® MX5 3D Universal Edge Routers at each of our data center sites, acting as border gateways and providing connection to our tier-1 internet partners. We also use the MX5 routers to provide connections to those customers who only require internet access. We’ve deployed Juniper Networks® EX4600 Series Ethernet Switches at the primary sites and Juniper Networks® EX4550 Series Ethernet Switches at our disaster recovery site, to provide a resilient backhaul network and to connect customers to our cloud services. We use Juniper Networks® SRX1400 Series Services Gateways to provide an aggregation layer and implement security and IDP (Intrusion Detection and Prevention) services. We’ve deployed the SRX Gateways at each site, configured as a single virtual system running over the network, which has allowed us to simplify our operations by managing multiple components as a single device. We also provide a Juniper SRX on the end of every customer connection we provide.

 

We took advantage of the expertise in Juniper’s TAC (Technical Assistance Center), to help us through the expansion. At one point we had experts staying up with us all through the night to make sure our migration worked smoothly. I have worked with Juniper products over the last 10 years and have yet to meet a vendor like them.

 

Now we have a tenfold increase in the capacity of our systems. Network uptime is extremely high, as is customer satisfaction. And we’ve benefitted from increased operational simplicity, running all of our network and security functions with only three staff while our other engineers focused on different priorities. It was critical for us that the new network could ensure reliability, scalability and affordability and Juniper has ticked all three boxes for us. And with JUNOS providing a single unified operating system across all our different systems, from security to routing and switching, we have less administration and it’s easy to bring on new skilled engineers. There’s only a single platform to learn, with the same commands required across the whole range of product types. Cross-training from other vendors is also easy and fast, with far less courses required. We also benefit from a single management environment for both our own network and our customers, because we can manage our CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) from the same system.

 

The transition was seamless. We had virtually no downtime and I don’t think we could have achieved that with any other vendor. For example, Juniper’s commit-confirm feature and their ability to validate configurations in advance helped us reduce our risk through the whole process. We’ve achieved reliability, flexibility and a great service in an extremely short space of time.

 

Now we’re considering Juniper Networks vSRX Virtual Firewall to collapse the CPE functionality back onto its own premises, or maybe even running it on an optical termination device. This is one of the benefits of Juniper’s open approach to networking, the flexibility we have to run a virtualized Juniper system on a third party platform is unique, and a great illustration of the how the network is moving towards software.

It is key for leading research organisations to manage increasing demand for user traffic and provide high speed connectivity up to 100GbE, with capacity to grow and generate greater volumes of data and collaboration. Juniper Networks helps these organisations to transform their networks and provide cutting-edge excellence for the advanced research and education sector.

 

One of Juniper’s customers CSC - the IT Center for Science Ltd - runs the centralized IT infrastructure for Finland's education and research organizations, as well as libraries, archives, museums and cultural organizations. CSC’s infrastructure includes Funet (Finnish University and Research Network), which provides high speed data network connectivity to its 75 customers and their 370,000 users. CSC’s network connects all of its customers to the services they need and all of its customers to each other for collaboration.

 

CSC had been operating the Funet backbone at 10G, but traffic had steadily grown to the point where an upgrade to higher speeds needed. On top of that, the users can have extremely demanding and unpredictable data requirements, making it challenging to plan for peak demands. CSC needed to transform the entire backbone from 10Gbps to 100Gbps links.

 

The organisation built its two previous generations of network using Juniper Networks technology, and turned to Juniper Networks once again to create its new core, using Juniper Networks® MX960 3D Universal Edge Routers, equipped with MPC4E Modular Port Concentrators, to interconnect and provide access to all of its 75 customer organizations. MX Series routers allowed CSC to upgrade directly to a 100Gbs solution in the most cost-effective way, which is important because it is state-funded.

 

Teemu Kiviniemi, development manager at Funet quotes: “Our aim is always to upgrade before we hit congestion but now we know we have enough capacity to react even when our customers need a lot of capacity at short notice. This is crucial for a lot of our users, who often work with very large data sets and need to move terabytes or even petabytes of data.

 

CSC also uses Juniper Networks MX Series routers for CPE (Customer Premise Equipment). This has created a simplified operational environment, with a single feature set across both its backbone and CPE, and saves a lot of time by using the same operational processes everywhere - for configuration, management and monitoring.

 

Kiviniemi says, “We currently connect our campus networks at 10G but our new core means that we're already starting to plan for 100G connections directly to our customers. And we can always use even higher capacity MX Series routers if we need to, so there are plenty more upgrade options available, whatever our future requirements. We are very happy with how this whole project has worked. Finland is a large sparsely populated country, so it's important that we can easily move huge amounts of data around over the network rather than transporting hard disks. Now it means our customers can forget about the network and concentrate on the real work that they do - research, education and teaching.”

 

To find out more, please read the case study.

Transforming web hosting with automated self-provisioning

by Hetzner_SouthAfrica ‎11-10-2016 07:44 AM - edited ‎11-10-2016 08:05 AM

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At Hetzner we provide web hosting services to over 40,000 customers, who use our services to run applications ranging from general web hosting through to online payment systems, ecommerce, vehicle tracking solutions and share trading platforms. We needed to build a new data center and our network had reached its limits so we took the opportunity to build our new network from the ground up.

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Today’s education landscape is dramatically different from what it was a couple of decades ago. Gone are the days of chalkboard learning and a single campus computer lab that everyone shared. Access to laptops and tablets, online learning solutions and the personalization of the learning experience through digital tools have become de rigueur for many of today’s students – this is what they have come to expect and demand.

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Modern data centers must move beyond racking, stacking, and cabling. Customers want access to their data instantly, anywhere in the world. And that’s exactly what ServerCentral delivers. ServerCentral offers colocation, cloud, and network infrastructure services with unwavering uptime to customers large and small, along with 24/7 live support from

real people. ServerCentral is innovative in how it builds a next- generation data center network and uses network automation to enable new levels of service that allow its customers to thrive.

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It’s probably fair to say that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the top universities in the world. After all, the university can count 16 Nobel prize winners amongst its staff or alumni, and 37 past or present world leaders!

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The organisation recently had to connect their London campus to two new data centers. They wanted resilient 10Gbps connections - but it was also crucial that the connections would be highly secure, and support the existing L2 VLAN architecture they were already running. This meant that they avoid the risks associated with building large layer-2 networks, such as broadcast storms, or unknown unicast and multicast traffic.

 

Part of LSE's strategy is to be 'prepared to innovate' - and that's just what they had to do to solve their data center interconnect challenge. LSE used Juniper Networks® MX240 3D Universal Edge Routers, which gave them access to the full networking stack, and allowed them to solve one of the most complex networking challenges they've come across, and do it with an open-standards implementation. They did this by providing EVPN services, over GRE, over IPSec. This allowed LSE’s systems department to retain its layer-2 VLAN design whilst mitigating against the risks of large layer-2 networks.

 

LSE also used Juniper Networks® SRX5400 Services Gateways, which act as data center firewalls and campus perimeter firewalls. Juniper Networks® QFX5100 Ethernet Switches are deployed behind the SRX's to provide the data center fabric, using Juniper's VCF (Virtual Chassis Fabric) technology to connect multiple switches as a single, logical device.

 

LSE’s network supports over 200 applications - which range from timetabling to student services to financial systems. Now, the university have 10G wherever they need it, end-to-end, and the whole system is far more robust. They’ve also enabled networking automation, allowing the systems team directly access to the switching fabric - but at the same time this is protected from changes to the ports they use to build the actual network. This is a great operational win for them.

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To find out more, read the case study here.

Elite has been an Internet service provider (ISP) for almost 20 years, holding the title as one of the UK’s oldest and most highly peered. Elite provides a range of high-tech services such as business grade Internet connectivity, co-location, cloud and VoIP services to an extensive range of channel partners throughout the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Elite works with some of the UK’s most well-known companies, from energy to transport and government, working to resolve technology issues and bring unparalleled service quality levels. Working with such a technical and high-profile customer base means Elite must stay ahead of the curve and invest heavily in new technologies to keep service levels at a high.

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Embracing network functions virtualisation in the data centre

by Conleth.McCallan ‎05-19-2016 01:11 PM - edited ‎05-19-2016 01:12 PM

Datanet provides data hosting and connectivity services to businesses around London, specializing in backup & recovery. We'd reached a point where we needed to build a completely new data centre network. Our existing network equipment was approaching its end-of-life, we needed to upgrade the capacity from 1Gbps to 10Gbps and we had also experienced a DDoS attack that our previous networking vendor had struggled to deal with satisfactorily.

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Web Services companies are fundamentally changing the way businesses operate and grow. When companies expand and develop, the amount of information they share and process grows with them and they need a way to manage their data efficiently.

 

New Continuum is a data center provider for companies who want to spend their primary resources on core competencies and not worry about hosting or managing their own data centers. New Continuum’s challenge was providing the best experience possible for their customers. In order to satisfy customers, they needed to provide security, stability, and easy manageability within their data center. Specifically, New Continuum wanted to deliver high-end data center services that can support their tier 2 customers who process massive amounts of data.

 

New Continuum built their new infrastructure from scratch in order to offer the most efficient and flexible solutions to their customers. To match their new facility, they needed a simple, smart and open data center.

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New Continuum chose the SDN-ready Juniper Networks MX104 3D Universal Edge Router to deliver advanced edge services with carrier-grade reliability. The space and power efficient MX104 packs true carrier-grade features into a small form factor and enables New Continuum to offer advanced connectivity, including resilient connections to the United Internet Exchange, a sister company that offers Internet peering services. Other Juniper Networks products that New Continuum implemented include: QFX5100 and EX4300 switches.

 

To learn more about New Continuum’s story, read the case study here.

Juniper Networks offers the right ingredients to build a successful business.

 

We employ our experience, expertise and abilities to help customers connect their ideas to the marketplace. How do we do this? We sell innovative networks that have the intelligence to know what your business needs.

 

Sprinkle a little ease of doing business together on top (we did win an award for it in 2015) and voila!

 

We truly believe Juniper Networks has unlocked the recipe for success. To aid our belief, we have some survey results* that tell the same story. In comparison to our competition, here is how we scored across our ingredients:

 

94% rate Juniper’s performance and scale as superior

92% rate Juniper’s openness and flexibility as superior

91% rate Juniper’s hardware quality as superior

91% rate Juniper’s software quality (Junos) as superior

90% rate Juniper’s management and automation as superior

 

Together we can accomplish great things, we can build more than a network – we can transform your ideas into a successful reality.

 

*TechValidate survey, of over 100 users of Juniper QFX

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RENATER is a network provider for a research and educational consortium in France, providing national and international connectivity via the pan-European GÉANT network. The RENATER network makes the collaborative work, such as data transfer and videoconferencing, of French researchers easier with their colleagues.

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In this blog, I would like to highlight one of our customers’ success story and share how Juniper solutions has helped the financial organisation to create a low latency, highly resilient and future-proof network.

 

SIA, the Italian payments processor and systems developer, was looking to refresh the technology in its two data centers and wanted to improve on their traditional three-tier data center network architecture. The network had to ensure extremely high network availability with resiliency for every possible failure condition, and provide very low latency to maintain reliable data replication between its mainframe computers. Flexibility and ease of upgrade to meet future requirements such as 100GbE port speeds was also a critical requirement for SIA.

 

Following rigorous and successful proof of concept evaluations, SIA chose the Juniper solution to build a new two-layer data center architecture. It deployed Juniper Networks® MX960 3D Universal Edge Routers, to provide both core switching and data center interconnection, and Juniper Networks® QFX5100 Ethernet Switches in a virtual chassis configuration.  

 

As a result, SIA can now provide its banking and financial services customers across Europe with the highest levels of service performance and availability.

 

To find out more about SIA’s story, see the case study.

 

A University Network for the Future: by Dearbhla O'Reilly

by DerV ‎03-31-2016 03:00 AM - edited ‎03-31-2016 07:51 AM

The ICT infrastructure at Maynooth University supports a community of over 11,000 students and 900 staff. We recently added a number of new buildings to our campus to create more teaching space and residential accommodation, which, of course, we needed to connect to our network. On top of that, our traffic usage has been changing. In the past, users on campus really only needed high capacity access to our own servers, but now much of our students' traffic is leaving campus and returning via our own internet connections. Use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies has also led to the nature of the traffic becoming far less predictable. We'd got to the point where we needed more capacity for our users but also more flexibility.

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A Committed Partner

by Juniper Employee ‎03-25-2016 12:18 PM - edited ‎03-25-2016 02:02 PM

I am getting married this summer, so guess what’s on my mind? Healthy and committed partnerships! You know, a healthy partnership for a marriage is quite similar to a healthy partnership with your network builder. 

 

Yes, I went there. 

 

We depend on one another. We go through thick and thin. We grow together and face the world head on as we successfully adapt to the challenges put before us. 

 

Additionally, we listen, pay close attention and care, we build you things no one else has built for you and we’re constantly drumming up new ways to win you over. We’re a wholesome partner and according to a recent survey, via a third party survey vendor, TechValidate, we learned our customers think we’re a great partner too. For example:

 

91% of our current customers surveyed specified they would purchase more Juniper Networks gear in th...

 

Now that’s commitment. Or what about what Jim Foley, CTO of Joe Gibbs Racing, had to say about us in a media opportunity:

 

“It’s been a great partnership and really taken our technology capabilities to a championship-winning level across the board.”

 

Okay, one last one to demonstrate how our customers feel about our partnership. Here, a Network Administrator from a large enterprise computer company has something pretty sweet to say about us:

 

“I highly recommend Juniper. They are the best Network-Vendor currently on Earth. Juniper will chang...

 

Together, we are better, and we’re excited to start or continue building more than a network together.

 

I think I just wrote my vows somewhere in there.

 

SUNET: Efficiently Scaling a 100-GB Converged Optical IP Network

by Per Nihlen (pni) on ‎03-22-2016 04:57 AM - last edited on ‎09-22-2016 02:17 PM by Juniper Employee

At SUNET, we provide high-speed data services to universities and colleges across Sweden, connecting over 30 universities and colleges. We support about half a million users, operating in both research and production environments.

 

We'd been running our previous network for about ten years, but the optical transport equipment was approaching its end-of-life, and the contract with our dark-fiber supplier was coming up for renewal. We knew traffic would continue to increase, so we needed a more efficient way to grow and contain our costs. We took this opportunity to use a brand-new approach for our network, multilayer optical and IP convergence.

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