Industry Solutions and Trends
Technology is more than just networking and Juniper experts share their views on all the trends affecting IT

I’ve been working on the telecoms industry for over a decade now. I've got a bit of a UK bias, and this is non-scientific, but here’s some observations on what has changed in that time

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Humair Raza

Backhaul without Boundaries

by Juniper Employee on ‎09-22-2014 12:03 PM

There is no doubt that we are living in a virtual world these days, fantasy football, avatars, and so on. Sometime I wonder why we like virtual world so much. Apparent reasons that come to mind are that virtual world is almost equivalent to fantasy land. In the V-world you can dream big, the cost of failure is not huge, you can try out things before physically building them, you get the drift. These are the precise reasons that networks are also leaning towards the virtual environment with the help of network function virtualization (NFV) technology. Even backhaul is not safe from the virtual revolution, I call it “backhaul without boundaries”.

 

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Enterprises seem to finally wake-up with the music of SDN. I’ve recently been asked in multiple places on how Enterprises can benefit from SDN. Implementing SDN as part of their cloud infrastructure will allow enterprises to gain control over the virtualised resources in a coordinated fashion.

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After getting this comment a few times from people it made me wonder. Why not fix it? If everything works fine, how do you make sure it keeps working fine?  As a network integrator, service provider or end user it is a good thing, of course, that when nothing is broken you have no escalations and your customer satisfaction is probably high, but you also have a lot less interaction with your high level contacts in your end user community.

 

At a certain point when something does fail, then you do have to fix it. What are then the costs of fixing, both for yourself as well as for your end user? The network may even be down. You will have attention at a high level, just not the attention you wanted. So for you, your end-users, and for Juniper Networks, too, it would make sense to involve the services organization even when things are going well. Is all of the hardware and software still supported? Are there any potential capacity issues on the horizon? If you do have a malfunction, is there enough redundancy? Juniper with their partners are capable of delivering all necessary services needed to keep customer satisfaction up and even improve it when it is already high.

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This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Neal Wilkinson, Head of Marketing, SecuraHosting. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.

 

Commissioning a new cloud platform is an incredibly exciting time, a time where you see all the decisions, planning and design that has taken place over many months; start to take shape and form.

 

The technical team at Secura Hosting is currently in the closing stages of this process, adding the finishing touches to our new virtual private cloud (VPC) platform. We have selected Juniper Networks to provide the switching and routing for the new platform and as such, I have been asked to give some insight into the key considerations and factors that ultimately contributed to this decision.

 

I will kick things off with a brief overview of the VPC project, which will hopefully help put our decision making process and its eventual outcome, into some context.

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The European Cloud provider Cloudwatt recently announced a live production implementation of Software Defined Networking (SDN) using OpenContrail to support its public cloud service.

 

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240225580/Cloudwatt-deploys-SDN-to-orchestrate-public-cloud-serv...

 

Cloudwatt has an Opensource approach; its cloud orchestration platform is based on Openstack. Using OpenContrail as its SDN controller, it has integrated network automation into its cloud orchestration system.

 

While it is exciting to see SDN transition from hype to deployment, it’s good to stop and consider if this is just another approach to an old problem or if it is solving a new problem which will bring business value to Cloudwatt. While our industry thrives on technology innovation, it can also be ruthless. Investment is unlikely unless there is business value. Everett Rogers developed his theories around the diffusion of innovation and the resulting Innovation adoption curve. This identifies the various stages of innovation introduction, initially starting with the innovators who are prepared to take a level of risk to gain a competitive advantage, eventually moving to majority market adoption and finally followed by the laggards. Many technologies fail to reach the innovators phase. Rogers used the work of Bryce Ryan and Neil Gross while developing his theories. Ryan and Gross concluded that there are five major stages in the adoption process; awareness, Interest, evaluation, trial and adoption. Many technologies fail to make the transition from trial to adoption, making announcements such as the Cloudwatt deployment important to the future of SDN. 

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It’s the start of another National Football League (NFL) season…who am I kidding, it’s the start of another Fantasy Football season and my draft is quickly approaching.   The fantasy football experience has become stale over the years, the guys get together for a big draft party and then talk smack each week on what looks like a 1990’s message board. It’s 2014!  How exciting is that?  In the age of the Internet and the proliferation of video, I believe the fantasy football experience can be enhanced.  We can do much better.  Imagine 4K Ultra HD video streamed to you from every fantasy player on your team. Better yet, while they are playing their actual game you will receive a mash up of real time plays by your players, straight into your personal football game. This would revolutionize fantasy football, as we know it.  According to the Fantasy Sport Trade Association (FSTA), there are approximately 25.8 million American fantasy football participants in 2013.  My dream could be shared with millions, but how would the Internet deal with all this extra bandwidth?

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Without the invention and innovation of humans where would we be? But we, as humans, can also be a liability and nowhere is this more obvious than in the complex networks so crucial to our everyday lives. But, as complexity increases, there is a way to exploit the power of the human mind and overcome the frailty of human nature when it comes to repetative high volume low-end yet critical tasks. If you want to skip this blog and find out more you can directly download a two-sides of A4 paper that will tell you more. Alternatively, read on ............ 

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stephenliu

Pass the popcorn! Juniper’s 1TB Line Card Takes the Lead

by Juniper Employee ‎08-14-2014 03:46 PM - edited ‎08-26-2014 03:31 PM

In the spirit of throwback Thursdays, I remember being a kid and looking forward to renting movies from a “Mom-and-Pop” video store down the road. I didn’t think much of it then, but I also remember the segregation between the Betamax and VHS sections. I had no idea what was happening at the time. All I noticed is that the Betamax section of the store kept getting smaller and smaller until it just wasn’t there anymore. Throughout the history of technology, format wars have been common. I suppose now, as a full-grown adult, I can understand just how much being on the winning side of a format war is paramount.

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many-passports.jpg

A small incident regarding a recent intercontinental trip I took reminded me of one aspect of the Networking Lifecycle about which I am very passionate: service automation.  So what was the incident? Very simple: my airline sent me an email saying they saw that my passport had expired and that I had not updated my profile with the new details. And what does that have to do with automation of support and service in a network?  Read this to find out.

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The SDN controller is often compared to a centralized brain for the network. It's a good analogy as it illustrates well the interaction between the SDN controller and the network equipment. The comparison also falls a bit short as the brain should not just include a controller but also big-data analytics to help taking decisions.

 

Complex creatures such as the octopus developed a distributed brain model... how about your network?

 

                                                                                         Octopus.jpg

 

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This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Gary Barter, Marketing Manager, C4L. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.

 

Like many organisations C4L’s network had gradually evolved over a number of years, but the demands of customers and the pace of change of technology meant that we were reaching the critical tipping point where something a little more radical and revolutionary than a SW upgrade was required. This was the dilemma that we faced a year ago, having grown and extended our all Cisco legacy network to the limits of what you might see as a very large Enterprise solution, where we really needed to be firmly in the Carrier space.

 

C4L is a Data Centre (DC) Infrastructure company at heart, we deliver Colocation, Cloud, Communications and of course Connectivity solutions allowing businesses to move critical systems to a DC and larger enterprises to expand and manage equipment over multiple sites. Our solutions are underpinned by our own private network, so performance, flexibility, scalability and reliability of the network is fundamental to our success.

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This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Stuart Bates, Product Manager - Network Innovation, Imtech ICT. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.

 

5 Top Tips When Evaluating Your NFV Strategy

 

In the first part of my blog I talked through the lessons I had learnt from seeing my customers adopt both virtualisation and cloud technologies, and it got me thinking about how they apply these learnings to the latest virtualisation technology, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).

 

The acronyms "SDN" and "NFV" are as popular around our industry now as "cloud" and "virtualisation" was a couple of years back. We saw these ideas rapidly moved from a PowerPoint presentation to real life tangible benefits, and I believe the same is true here.

 

NFV was primarily formed by service providers looking at a way to reduce cost and increase agility whilst reducing the reliance they have on hardware vendors, therefore it has real momentum as the people who created it are the ones who will consume it.

 

Software Defined Network (SDN) has a broader remit and is, therefore, less well formed, but is potentially more significant in its potential impact to how you architect your network and applications.

 

Both SDN and NFV, however, should mean something to you and your business and they will undoubtedly transform it over the next five years.

 

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We all like to consider ourselves independent spirits and most of us hate the notion that our behaviour can be mapped onto a process; that, in some way, we are predictable. Take two of my friends, they instinctively behave in different ways yet each trait can be identified as part of a proven process that leads to improved and more stable networks. I reveal all in the blog below.  

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