With almost with the same regularity as I drink tea, I can’t seem to get through a business day at the moment without discussing either SDN or Openflow. Whether that’s an internal discussion, meetings with partners, customers or press / analysts this is a topic that is clearly gathering momentum.
Before going on, I should declare my position and interest. From what I have seen so far, what the proponents of SDN are evangelising has an appeal – often networks today are too complex and rigid and have fallen behind the apps / virtualisation world in terms of their agility. In an increasingly on-demand cloud centric environment, clearly that is something that has to be fixed. The early proponents of SDN are articulating an approach that creates a new virtual control plane layer outside of the current networking equipment layer. That virtual control plane is being positioned as more flexible, dynamic and agile than what currently exists.
The interesting dynamic on display in all of this debate is, I guess, who is best placed to fix the challenge of the network lacking the agility of the apps world – is it the existing and incumbent networking equipment vendors or some of the new vendors into this space?
My Colleague Nigel Stephenson shared some excellent perspectives on this topic on a broader front in his blog here
As always when new technologies and architectures such as this first get aired, people’s opinions tend to divide quickly in an almost religious like split and you tend to hear very strong opinions from both sides of the fence.
I think it’s fair to say enough of those opinions are getting an airing in public at present and I don’t think I can add anything further to that, but what I did want to share were some perspectives around this by looking at a case study from history, that has an eerily similar backdrop to it, to see if there are lessons for the future that can be learned from it.
PBT was a technology released by Nortel in 2006 whose premise was pretty straightforward. Nortel’s view at the time was that Ethernet derived services were becoming the main foundation of future carrier based services and that whilst the current widely deployed MPLS networks could deliver those services, Ethernet switching technologies were a much simpler and thus more cost effective solution to that need. Their approach magnified those potential benefits by relying on relatively simple / off the shelf Ethernet switches at the network equipment layer and building a lot of the intelligence into an external centralised management and provisioning system to control that relatively simple network.
This in itself created a major religious debate at the time – centralised versus distributed control planes and people quickly took sides – see any parallels there?
For context, the main MPLS networking vendors into the highly competitive carrier infrastructure space at that time were Juniper Networks, Cisco and Alcatel Lucent and despite many attempts to enter that market, Nortel had seen little success. They were however a major and existing vendor into the carrier space at that time for voice, broadband and optical technologies and carried a high degree of credibility.
So they had the brand credibility into their target market, but had not had success in entering the attractive MPLS infrastructure market so it could be argued they attempted a flanking strategy in an attempt to change the game and disrupt the existing market.
What then happened was interesting.
I was already working at Juniper Networks at the time and to go back to my tea analogy, we could not get through a day without discussing PBT and what Nortel were trying to do. It quickly got market attention because it was a new, interesting and different approach to solving a need that customers had, plus from the press and analyst perspective, it challenged the ‘big 3’ incumbent MPLS vendors.
In an attempt to garner credibility for their new offering, Nortel began to announce a number of impressive brand wins around the technology and PBT discussions quickly began to outdo my daily tea consumption.
I cannot speak for the other vendors but certainly within Juniper, our approach was to re-emphasise the rounded benefits of MPLS and remind the carriers of how flexible the distributed control model was and that ultimately how extensible it was outside of the core and edge network, ultimately out to the access and aggregation layer. The final and probably most important aspect was that large scale MPLS deployments were battle hardened and proven in some of the most demanding networks there were at the time.
To organisations whose business depended on the network being ‘5 9’s’ available, this was a key point.
So what happened?
The service providers at the time in most cases lauded Nortel for bringing some new and fresh thinking to the table that on the surface promised to deliver some real business benefits and in many cases, used this as a commercial ‘weapon’ against the incumbent vendors. Some aspects of PBT appealed – mostly its perceived simplicity and this drove some of the incumbent vendors to provide new ways of delivering an MPLS based approach to their needs but introducing simpler provisioning, lower cost delivery solutions etc.
In our case, plug and play MPLS and Seamless MPLS were two derivative developments that came to market as a result of this period.
Ultimately PBT did not find the success that Nortel had hoped for but it did have the interesting impact of driving some fresh thinking amongst the established vendors and played a part in standards based technologies that were to come into the market later on. Possibly, the fact that at the time of introduction, PBT was effectively a proprietary technology, played against it.
By adopting a much more open approach from the beginning, SDN as an approach has a greater chance of success, both potentially as a ‘standalone’ solution but also in enabling vendors with solutions already deployed to take on board and deliver solutions that are built on the best of both worlds – solid, time served innovation and deployment knowledge coupled with ground breaking new thinking around how applications and network can better co-exist to the betterment of all end users.
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 Senior Product Marketing Manager overseeing SDN and Core Service Provider Product line for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads all of the internal and external marketing activities for T-Series, PTX, IP/MPLSView and NorthStar SDN Controller.
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.
With 20+ years of global IT management experience, Gary Clark oversees all technology services to support 9,600 employees at Juniper Networks, a $4.5 billion networking innovator with operations spanning 123 offices in 47 countries. Prior to Juniper, Gary held senior IT management roles at BlackRock/Barclays Global Investors and Deutsche Post/DHL.
Senior Systems Engineer for NEC NZ. Focused on Juniper Networking equipment, SDN and NEC compute platforms. Busy studying for the JNCIP-SP and ENT.
Outside of work I enjoy the great outdoors: Mountaineering, Bouldering, Rock or Ice climbing, Tramping (hiking to non-Kiwis) and Snowboarding.
I have been in the networking industry for over 30 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Eleven years in the US, over 20 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 my focus has been on services at Juniper: support services, professional services, service automation. 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
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.
Marcel Wiget is Consulting Engineer Specialist and member of the Advanced Technology team for EMEA. His career within Juniper started back in 2009 as a Senior Systems Engineer driving one of the first MX based Broadband Edge deployment to success. Prior to Juniper, Marcel held various positions in pre-sales, professional services and development at Chantry Networks, Spring Tide, Nortel Networks and Wellfleet.
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:
my personal blog: http://neilpound.tumblr.com/
my LinkedIn account: Neil Pound
I am one of a small team of Network Engineers working for Lumison Ltd, a UK ISP/MSP based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have been with the company for almost 6 years moving from frontline support to the Managed Services team dealing with customer network design and implementation before talking up the role of Network Engineer. As well as the JNCIE-ENT certification.
I am currently a Sr. Product Marketing Manager specializing in Juniper's Security Portfolio in the Service Provider industry. I am an experienced senior technical leader, technical marketing engineer, solutions architect, and product marketing manager with over 20 years of Internet and Enterprise industry experience developing solutions from scratch often in relation with business units and technology groups, my projects ranged from product, solution, and technology development to corporate technology strategies. I have strong analytical skills and I am able to crunch and articulate complex technology to a variety of audience knowledge levels. I possess a deep hands-on technology and business knowledge of Service Provider and Enterprise architectures with deployment hands-on skills. I also bring a unique perspective of open source philosophy, including but not limited to open innovation, software development methodologies, open source monetization and business models, and licensing and compliance in software integration. I am a strategic leader with proved ability to empower a team to improve their product, themselves, their team, and our company’s market position.
An inspirational marketing leader working across the entire marketing mix to transform brand into business value, activity into results and thought leadership into measurable pipeline. You can follow me on Twitter at @PaulGainham
I have been at Juniper Networks since 2004, focused on Corporate Communications (media relations, analyst relations, customer reference progam) for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region.
I have worked in the networking industry since 1988.
Raghu Subramanian is VP of Sales Engineering for Asia-Pacific at Juniper Networks. Prior to this, he has served Juniper as chief strategist for the security business, product evangelist to channel partners, and product manager for M-series routers.
In past lives, Raghu was a chip designer at Hewlett Packard, and an R&D manager at a start-up acquired by PMC-Sierra.
Raghu has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine, and a B.Tech.in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. In his spare time, he enjoys reading non-fiction, coaching kids for the Math Olympiad, and traveling with his family to other countries to learn about their ways.
Russell is the global leader of the Advanced Technologies team specializing in Data Center Virtualization and Automation. Russell leads the team that provides Juniper’s major customers with solutions to provide the network underpinnings for highly virtualized and automated data centers.
Stephen is currently a Partner Acccount manager at Juniper Networks, and has held this role for 3 years. Prior to Juniper, he worked at Extreme Networks for 11 years in a variety of roles.
Stephen is a Father of 3 children, a keen cricket fan and enjoys cooking, reading and theatre in his free time.
Stephen Liu is Senior Director of Product Marketing for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads product marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading service provider portfolio of high-performance routing and switching products. These products include Juniper PTX Series, T Series, MX Series, and ACX Series platforms along with software and security.
Prior to joining Juniper in 2013, Stephen served as Director of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco Systems. In that role, he led product and solution marketing worldwide for the service provider routing, switching, optical, and software portfolio. Products included NCS, CRS, ASR, and ONS platforms.
Stephen attended the University of California, San Diego, where he received a bachelor’s of science degree electrical engineering – communication systems.
Hobbies include restoring old Volkswagens and coaching competitive youth soccer. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
About Stuart Borgman, Business Systems Architect
Having spent many years in the telecommunications and networking industry, I understand just how complex networking technology can be, and equally, just how important it is for today’s fast-moving business.
Making the right IT choice for any organization is paramount, especially when it is helping drive business strategy. In my role at Juniper, I’m committed to helping all organizations plan and design their IT systems to make sure that each part works together to fully meet the needs of the business. Together with my colleagues in Professional Services, our aim is to ensure that all you need focus on is your business strategy, not the technology.
I'm currently working on a number of Service Provider projects focusing on Identity Management. These range from Mobile Operator WiFi offload projects & 3G SCADA device management to broadband authentication encompassing quota and service management for P2P and video traffic control.
I have over 15 years progressive experience designing complex RADIUS platforms to meet the demands of the most multifaceted businesses. One of the most successful projects focused on the consolidation of 22 separate RADIUS platforms spread over a large estate onto a single pair of RADIUS servers, offering the same functionality and business logic as the prior estate.
In addition I have spent a number of years observing and implementing solutions for the enterprise space in the BYOD and NAC market. It's a keen area of interest for me as it combines the whole concept of identity management and business needs together. My largest project in this space was for a UK company with global offices providing a NAC solution for over 200 sites, with over 150,000 staff.
Over the last 10 years Netutils have invested heavily in developing a technical team to support me and the business on these key areas. I strongly believe that a solution designed by Network Utilities should be the right solution technically and commercially for the customer, so my over-riding focus is on customer satisfaction. This follows on in the technical support service the Netutils team offer post implementation.
Not making tea, NAC, RADIUS, Quota Management, Diameter, full life cycle of the subscriber management. Working with large organisations taking a concept through to delivery around identity management whether authentication or Quality of Service.
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.
Zoe Sands is Head of Digital Marketing at Juniper Networks and is responsible for digital marketing and social media across EMEA. She is an experienced Digital Marketer since 1997 with PRINCE2 practitioner status, during this period Zoe has successfully launched many new online innovations for Juniper Networks, Cisco, Dialogic, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Hyundai, including content managed and e-commerce based websites to integrated social media programmes. She has International exposure running projects globally, regionally and at a country level.
Zoe’s approach is to create an environment where those around her can share her passion for the Internet and the opportunities it presents. She says sharing knowledge, championing and communicating the benefits of digital capabilities enhances both the user experience and offers additional online communication channels and business opportunities. Zoe has a blog ‘Learning and sharing...’ to share her experience of all things online marketing, social media, chat online, SEO, SEM and mobile related content. You connect with Zoe via LinkedIn or find her on Twitter: @zoe9 and @ZoeSands.