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Embracing Digital Cohesion by Dealing with “Economics” Barrier

by Juniper Employee ‎12-20-2016 11:22 AM - edited ‎01-26-2017 04:22 PM

This morning while driving to work I started thinking about how Apple’s iPhone had captured the mobile market and displaced former leaders like Nokia and Blackberry. A similar analogy is how Netflix displaced top video rental stores like Blockbuster.  Both these companies have one thing in common: their ability to innovate. How did they manage to innovate?

 

Innovation comes from within. When employees start thinking about strategic business problems and work to find ways in solving those problems, that’s when magic happens. If there’s something we can learn from history, it’s that we need to innovate to stay relevant. Digital Cohesion ushers in an era of innovation and possibilities. But to truly embrace it organizations need to ensure that their IT workforce is working on new things and not spending their time in just keeping lights on. How do you free your resources and encourage your IT workforce to innovate?

 

Today, use of automation is rising in all industries due to the decreasing costs of technology vs the increasing costs of employees. So from economics standpoint, its common business sense to automate. In Digital Cohesion world, many digital services will need to be instantly provisioned and then come together giving the end-user a truly great experience. These digital services will act autonomously, and deploy based on your situation, need, and location, as well as your history and feedback from other services or devices that you used. This means that demand put forth on enterprises and service providers will increase exponentially. At Google a typical network engineer manages up to 15,000 servers and at an enterprise up to 50 servers. Of course Google has super human engineers but even then managing 15,000 servers is no small feat. So why this disparity? Google uses automation at a large scale that helps them be agile and at the same time also keeps their operating costs low. Even in Marvel Universe Iron Man needs J.A.R.V.I.S to get continuous feedback on his suit operations.

Figure 1: Iron Man suit has automation in-builtFigure 1: Iron Man suit has automation in-built

 

Top reasons for you to consider automation:

  1. Free your staff for more strategic work:

By reducing the effort spent on repetitive and mundane manual tasks—which are incredibly tedious for the people performing them—you free up resources to work on higher-order tasks, such as driving improvements in application delivery. Not only does your business flourish under these conditions, but you also end up with happier and more productive workers. They can be proactive rather than reactive.

 

  1. Economics:

Because automation masks the complexities of the underlying infrastructure—dramatically fewer person-hours are required for network operations because the provisioning, managing, and orchestrating of network services have all been simplified—your OPEX is immediately lower.

 

With regard to CAPEX, by replacing hardware devices with virtual network devices (VNFs), you can scale up and down automatically and add or remove virtual resources to meet changing load demands. This means you no longer have to overprovision network hardware, thus saving on the capital costs of equipment.

 

Network agility and reliability are no longer mere buzzwords. Dynamic services need agile and self-driving networks(TM). Networks that can autonomously resolve security issues, allocate bandwidth, auto provision, increase productivity and scale fast. And while doing all that help reduce OPEX and CAPEX. The fuel that drives self-driving networks(TM) is automation.

 Figure 2: Junos automation feature support timelineFigure 2: Junos automation feature support timeline

 

The above figure represents the Junos automation feature support timeline. From Day 1 our Operating System has been API/model driven. This means that when Junos was built, it was built with automation in mind and over time our OS infrastructure has continued with that intention.  Today, our OS even supports OpenConfig Models.

 

Let’s shift our discussion towards managing today’s networks. A network does not just contain network elements from a single vendor. Our customers have diverse networks that are all trying to talk to each other and are essentially made up of elements (router, switch or security) from different vendors like Cisco, Arista, Brocade (Broadcom) and Juniper. The problem comes from network management perspective. If the network administrator wants to configure BGP on Juniper router, he needs to implement a different configuration than when configuring BGP on a Cisco router. Let’s take an analogy: write your introduction in English but in two different syntax - one paragraph in American English and one paragraph in Queens English. Both in English but different flavors. Writing one paragraph each is easy. Imagine writing everything you do in two different flavors every day. You see the problem? Today in networking world that’s the problem that many operators and vendors are trying to solve. Everybody wants to automate but nobody can automate something that is too complex. To understand the above problem lets walk through the history of network management.

 

First, came the SNMP which was great for network monitoring. With SNMP, administrators used to poll devices regularly to collect management information. It worked great for small networks but as networks scaled retrieving large amounts of data (routing tables) from devices became very slow. Moreover, it wasn’t easy to identify configuration objects from operational state objects. As a result, network administrators got a stale view of the network which prevented faster reaction to network events.

 

Second, came the workflow automation tools like Puppet, Chef and Ansible that reduced the computing overhead. Ansible has an agent-less architecture which means that there is no agent software running in the switch/router. It’s based on Push mechanism rather than the Pull mechanism of SNMP. The Ansible Engine works with the Perl or Python modules and the Playbook to apply CLI/XML over SSH connection to the router/switch. This eliminates the need to manually enter values on the device. Although this is a step in the right direction it’s not the final destination. There is still the limitation of integrating with OSS which has become expensive and time consuming.

 

Third, is the NetConf/ YANG model. Netconf is a transport protocol and YANG is a data modeling language. Think of it like, Netconf is English and YANG is grammar and syntax. YANG Models are predefined models (formats) like American English syntax and Queens English syntax. Netconf/YANG provide a way to install, manipulate or delete configurations of network devices. 

 

Today, all the devices can be configured and monitored the same way. But there’s a catch. All the YANG models (different syntaxes) need to be standardized. This means that we need a template that everybody in the world understands. No separate American English or Queens English syntax but a World English syntax for everybody. This need to have standardized YANG models led to the creation of “OpenConfig” – a consortium of network operators sharing the goal of moving networks toward a more dynamic, programmable infrastructure by adopting software-defined networking principles such as declarative configuration and model-driven management and operations.

 

OpenConfig chose YANG as the data modeling language and gRPC as preferred transport protocol. Today, they have 20+ YANG models and more on the way for each functional block of the network element i.e. MPLS, ACL, Optical Transport and Routing Models. Juniper Networks supports nearly half of these YANG models today and is working aggressively towards enabling more standardized YANG models on its routing and switching platforms. We are working with operators to help them become vendor agnostic and to help them reduce their OSS integration cost.

 

Let me ask you this: What are you waiting for? It’s about time you put your Iron Man suit on!

 

Acknowledgements:

  1. “Netconf and YANG – explained in a layman’s term” blog by Pallavi Mahajan.
  2. Meetup on Netconf/Yang by Gurudatt Shenoy and Nilesh Simaria.

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  • Aviram Zrahia is a consulting engineer at Juniper Networks and an industry researcher of cyberspace. He holds a CISSP and GCIH certifications, as well as a bachelor's degree in computer science and MBA in management of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He is also a research fellow in the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) at Tel Aviv University, currently focusing on the domain of threat intelligence sharing.
  • Ben has been working with service providers around the world for the last 15 years developing business cases for a variety of product concepts and new ventures. Ben holds an MBA from MIT and a BS & MS in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
  • A Marketing and Business Development professional with 24 years extensive Sales/Business Development, Marketing and Technical experience in the Networking/Telecoms/Datacomms and Mobile market segments, focused on selling to Service Providers. Fomerly VP Marketing at the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)
  • David Noguer Bau is the head of Telco Vertical Marketing at the SP Strategic Marketing team in Juniper Networks. He has extensive experience in Service Provider network evolution and regularly runs executive sessions with technical and marketing teams of important telecom operators to accelerate the adoption of virtualisation. David is based in Barcelona and has over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Prior joining Juniper Networks, Mr. Noguer Bau spent seven years at Nortel where he was a Business Development Manager specializing in Carrier Ethernet and Broadband areas. Before Nortel he worked at Eicon-Dialogic as Technical Manager in Spain. David has been the Country Marketing Chair at Metro Ethernet Forum for Spain. Mr. Noguer has wide experience speaking at international Conferences. He was graduated as Computer Engineer by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and has an executive MBA from EADA Barcelona and executive education at the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona) and the Henley Business School (UK). The views expressed here are my personal opinions , have not been reviewed or authorized by Juniper Networks and do not necessarily represent the views of Juniper Networks.
  • I’ve been 29 years in the industry, first as a trainee IBM operator at Barclays Bank, later starting my own business which was ultimately acquired by French listed company EasyVista – [giving me great insight into working as part of an internationally focused company alongside organisations like Reuters, UBS Warburg, GlaxoSmithKline and London Electricity]. I am Sales & Marketing Director at Netutils – a specialist IT Networking and Security solutions provider. My passion continues to be making enterprise more efficient via the intelligent deployment of technology, with a view to delivering real value for my clients.
  • Donyel Jones-Williams is the Director of Service Provider Product Marketing Management overseeing all of Juniper's Service Provider Products for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads all of the internal and external marketing activities for Juniper with respect to routing, automation, SDN and NFV. Prior to joining Juniper Networks in January 2014, Donyel was a Senior Product Line Manager for Cisco Systems with in the High End Optical Routing Group managing product lifecycle for multiple products lines helping telecom providers operate efficiently and effectively including; ONS 155xx Product Family, ONS 15216, ONS 15454 MSTP, Carrier Packet Transport Product Family, ME 2600x, & ASR 9000v. He also negotiated favorable agreements with 3rd-party vendors furnishing components and parts and conducted both outbound and inbound marketing (webinars, case study-development, developed and delivered both business & technical at Cisco Live 2005-2012). Donyel graduated from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While attending Cal Poly SLO he was a collegiate student athlete playing football as a wide receiver and a key member of the National Society of Black Engineers. Donyel is now an active volunteer for V Foundation.
  • I am a Senior Systems Engineer for NEC, based in Auckland, New Zealand. My main focus for NEC is all things Juniper, ranging from the smallest SRX platform to the PTX5K and everything in between, including the QFX and MX series. In addition to looking after the Juniper Networks equipment, I am also deeply involved in the SDN and compute platforms from NEC and Netcracker (an NEC company). Next on my certification list is the JNCIP-DC, having already completed the JNCIP-SP, JNCIP-ENT, JNCIP-SEC and the JNCDS-DC, SEC and WAN. Outside of work I enjoy the great outdoors: Mountaineering, bouldering, rock or ice climbing, tramping (hiking to non-Kiwis) and snowboarding. My partner and I own a lifestyle farm South East of Auckland, overlooking the beautiful Coromandel peninsula. We have 13.5Ha and keep Highland Cattle, horses and the chickens but also have a compliment of wild ducks, geese, peacocks and pheasants roaming through the land. Outside of work I enjoy the great outdoors: Mountaineering, bouldering, rock or ice climbing, tramping (hiking to non-Kiwis) and snowboarding. My partner and I own a lifestyle farm South East of Auckland, overlooking the beautiful Coromandel peninsula. We have 13.5Ha and keep Highland Cattle, horses and the chickens but also have a compliment of wild ducks, geese, peacocks and pheasants roaming through the land.
  • Jennifer Blatnik is vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks with focus on enterprise deployments of security, routing, switching, and SDN products, as well as cloud solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises solve network security challenges. Before joining Juniper, Jennifer served multiple roles at Cisco Systems, Inc., including directing product management for security technologies aimed at small to medium enterprises, as well as supporting managed services, cloud service architectures and go-to-market strategies. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
  • I have been in the networking industry for over 35 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Twelve years in the US, over 25 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 I have been at Juniper, focusing on solutions and services: solving business problems via products and projects. Our market is characterized by amazing technological innovations, but technology is no use if you cannot get it to work and keep it working. That is why services are so exciting: this is where the technology moves out of the glossy brochures and into the real world! Follow me on Twitter: @JoeAtJuniper For more about me, go to my LinkedIn profile: http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/joe-robertson/0/4a/34a
  • JOHN F. ORBE Government, Education & Medical Juniper Networks Americas Enterprise John joined Juniper in 2013, leading the firm’s engagement with State and Local Government and Education in the Americas. In 2014, the Healthcare sector was added to John’s responsibilities. The organization focus is upon leverage of Next Generation Network Architectures and Solutions to exceed expectations for: Connected Government, Optimized networks to enable teaching with technology and improving student outcomes in Education and assisting Healthcare Institutions to meet Meaningful Use and Affordable Care objectives. Balancing Agility, Openness and Security through the Campus, Data Center and Cloud. John leads Juniper’s CIO Advisory Board for Higher Education. Prior to joining Juniper, John held various leadership positions during his 32 years in IT, with firms including Nortel, and began his career in IT with IBM and Digital Equipment Corp (DEC). He was a founding Member of ConnectKentucky, a public private partnership. Mr. Orbe has a BS Business Administration from St. Louis University, 1981. John, his wife and four kids live in St. Louis.
  • Jon joined Fujitsu UK&I as Chief Technology Officer in January 2011 from the public sector, where he was Chief Information Officer, Transformation Director and SIRO at the Valuation Office Agency. Prior to this he was Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ first Chief Technology Officer, leading the integration of the former Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise organizations. His roles in both organizations drove out savings in excess of £600m, as well as bringing about significant technology transformation, building high performing teams in the process. Jon was a founding and core member of the UK Government Chief Technology Officer Council and recruited and led a team creating Public Services Network, XBRL mandation and cross government channel strategy. Jon’s client side board level experience is built on 11 years at Accenture, with clients including Barclaycard, Legal & General, BP, Castrol and BG Group. Jon now leads the UK & Irelands 1,200 strong Architecture Community, driving standard solutions, reinforcing rigorous re-use and a collegiate collaborative community and culture, leading with courage and conviction. Jon is a firm believer in the 4Ps – Pace, Passion, Pride and Professionalism. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the British Computer Society, founding Fujitsu Fellow and a member of the Advisory Board for AppDynamics.
  • I'm a Distinguished Systems Engineer at Juniper Networks. My main technical interests are routing protocols, MPLS, PCE/WAN Controllers, automation, and optical integration. Before joining Juniper Networks in 1999, I worked at BT for several years, at first in the Photonics Research Department and later in the data transport and routing area. I have a PhD in ultrahigh-speed optical transmission and processing and an MA in Physics, both from Cambridge University. I co-authored the book "MPLS-Enabled Applications: Emerging Developments and New Technologies", with Ina Minei. The book is now in its third edition.
  • Laurence is passionate about technology, particularly cyber security. His depth and breadth of knowledge of the dynamic security landscape is a result of over twenty years’ experience in cyber security. He understands the security concerns businesses face today and can bring insight to the challenges they will face tomorrow. Laurence joined Juniper Networks in 2016 and is our senior security specialist in EMEA. Security throughout the network is a key area where Juniper Networks can help as business moves to the cloud and undertakes the challenge of digital transformation.
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  • I love the intracacy and intimacy of succesful communications. Why and how people engage with each other is fascinating. I am also consumed with the way IT changes behaviours, values and expectations in society. I bring this sense of wonder to my role in EMEA Service Provider Marketing Programs at Juniper Networks. Down time: My passions are music, reading, politics, Derby County and playing the guitar (and the harmonica). You can follow me elsewhere: twitter: @neilpound my personal blog: http://neilpound.tumblr.com/ my LinkedIn account: Neil Pound
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  • An accomplished network engineer with 14+ years’ experience, and a Juniper employee since 2004, Tony leads the IT team focused on deploying “Juniper on Juniper”, using Juniper technology to run the business and deliver core business services across the enterprise. Tony holds a double JNCIS certification in Enterprise Routing, Security (JNCIS-ER, JNCIS-SEC) and a BS degree from California Polytechnic State University. Outside of work, Tony serves on a School Advisory Council, loves biking and good coffee.
  • Troy has been with Juniper for over 15 years doing system design on the largest, most complex core routers the industry.
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