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

Are you a risk-averse? Use virtualization!

by Juniper Employee ‎01-30-2015 12:59 AM - edited ‎01-30-2015 01:17 AM

Using virtualization to reduce the business risks of launching new services

 

Launching a new service by the telecommunication industry (as in many other sectors) is not an easy task: it requires a lot of research and planning in order to make sure the huge investment is safe. 

 

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For decades telecom carriers invested billions of dollars in building out massive networks to serve millions of customers. The economics were simple and certain. And lucrative. A captive customer base was guaranteed and so was the pricing.

 

The industry changed with the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 and similar deregulation laws around the world. According to the FCC, “the goal of [the] new law [was] to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other.” Frightening words to any monopoly incumbent. New entrants and new technologies have been chipping away at the carrier business ever since. For wireless carriers that have launched post-deregulation, the seminal moment occurs when subscriber penetration becomes saturated and the easy growth stops. But the problems for wireline and wireless carriers are similar. The “build it and they will come” business model is cracking.

 

But 18 years on, most incumbent telcos are still stable businesses generating billions of dollars of cash flow every year even though prices of legacy communications services are decreasing and more nimble competitors who grew up with the Internet can out-maneuver them. This apparent paradox is explained by the fact that telcos retain some important competitive advantages; notably, the carrier grade performance and security that comes with owning the network. The carrier economic advantage is more nuanced. Massive installed networks generate significant barriers to entry and high gross margins, but they also create the rigidity that comes with a huge balance sheet.

 

In this context, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), or more broadly, Network Virtualization (NV), along with Software Defined Networking (SDN), have arrived as putative saviors of the industry. The potential economic benefits of NV & SDN are fairly well known, but not yet proven:

  1. Lower OpEx and CapEx - Automation of key processes, increased use of off the shelf hardware, etc.
  2. Increased revenues - New services, more nimble service development, improved customer experience, etc.

This common view is incomplete. NV & SDN can transform the carrier business model, but only in concert with purpose built infrastructure. The trick is to get the agility advantages of virtualization, while maintaining the economies of scale advantages of purpose-built networks based on customized hardware and silicon. Complex deployment decisions must be untangled from two perspectives: economic/service and technical/architecture.

 

Ideally carriers employ flexible virtualized platforms to experiment with new services, new partners, new geographies, or changing customer tastes. Virtual platforms may also be more appropriate to serve small business customers. Then carriers can shift traffic to dedicated infrastructure better suited to handle the capacity demands of a “successful” service. Virtualized infrastructure can be scaled in and out and moved around in the network to handle peak loads. Carriers can dynamically shift back and forth between low risk, variable cost business models and the legacy model based on high margins and operating leverage. New services are quickly spun up at low cost and just as importantly, easily and cheaply retired as necessary. Proven services continue to be the engine of cash flow, but rapidly deployed new services ensure survival.

 

Similar analyses can be performed from a technical/architectural perspective. Virtualization makes sense in some parts of the networks, such as in the access layer, compute and storage functions, or moderate bandwidth applications, but not in others, such as the IP core.

 

Juniper offers carrier-grade virtual platforms and proven, dedicated architectures to handle the elasticity needed for uncertain, moderate throughput applications and the scale and performance needed for high volume applications. We are uniquely qualified to help carriers navigate the complex questions along NV/SDN journey regarding the optimal timing of investments, virtual-to-dedicated solution migration (and vice versa), and the circumstances under which carriers should deploy virtual routers vs. a conventional big box router.

The Zero-Down Time DC Migration. You Can Do It, Too

by Juniper Employee ‎01-15-2015 03:04 AM - edited ‎01-15-2015 03:06 AM

Here’s a hypothetical situation for you. Let’s say you run a hosting company. And naturally you want to grow. Fast. More customers, more connections, more cloud. You want to differentiate yourself by offering the greatest possible flexibility and security, whilst guaranteeing data privacy for your customers. This was not a hypothetical situation for SW Hosting. This dynamic young company based in Spain was poised to grow. After analyzing the market they knew that a Juniper Networks MetaFabric Architecture was what they needed from a technical standpoint, but there were still SWHosting logo.pnglots of questions about how to actually go about doing it. So they turned to Juniper Networks Professional Services to provide the skills and resources to work with their own engineers towards a single goal: the success of the project.

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Disruption is often a challenge to large incumbent businesses, but the change also brings huge opportunities for new businesses. Within this context, SDN and NFV provide a massive opportunity for small service providers to step up and become a global super power. But how may this happen?

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Make blogging your New Year’s Resolution for 2015!

by Administrator Administrator ‎01-02-2015 07:00 AM - edited ‎01-02-2015 07:22 AM

Storytelling helps to convey events, your expertise and experiences into words, images and videos. Stories have been shared in every culture since the beginning of civilisation as a means of entertainment, education and development, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. As an organisation Juniper Networks’ has many powerful stories that its customers and partners have experienced with its products and services, so I would like to hear your stories and help publish these out to a wider audience by sharing these great experiences via blog posts. Blogging is the fastest and most effective way to share stories and experiences. So, what’s stopping you from blogging?

 

Action: Call for Guest Bloggers

 

Blogs that are successful are those that are kept fresh, regularly updated and cover different viewpoints on different topics and educate the community. With the support of many, including experiences shared by employees, customer and partners 2014 was a great year for Juniper in terms of blogging, there were several customer, partner and industry expert guest blogs published and I want to continue this momentum during 2015, so hence my call for guest bloggers on the Industry Solutions and Trends blog.

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10 Digital Marketing and Social Trends for 2015

 

It is that time of year where I review what’s happened in the past 12 months and see what trends I can see starting to emerge for the coming year. Here are my top ten trends, which I think will shape digital marketing in the coming 12 months;

 

  1. Social Selling.
  2. Personalisation.
  3. Personal Branding verses Corporate Branding.
  4. New apps and online services for the time poor.
  5. 4G mainstream, 3G clogged networks.
  6. Internet of Things is fast becoming mainstream.
  7. Social advertising
  8. End user, employee and brand generated video content
  9. User generated content
  10. 2015 is the Year of Marketing Advocacy through your employees, customers and partners.

Click through to read more on my predicted trends for 2015.

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A colleague of mine made a wonderful comment in a meeting I was in a few weeks back when he pointed out that ‘somebody’ did not exist in our company directory. The comment came as part of a planning discussion where, almost inevitably, it’s easy to fall into the ‘somebody should fix that’ kind of comment trap as you assess the planning horizon and consider the goals and objectives you need to achieve.

 

Good for him that he did as it re-enforced the fact that the answers to some of the challenges in front of you lie much closer to home rather than simply offloading them to a mythical, virtual individual called somebody

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It’s probably not news to you that a significant part of the data flows within a data centre network today are machine-to-machine. Applications inside the data centre have been decomposed into many services that involve automated communication between servers inside that data centre: what has become known as ‘east-west’ traffic.

 

Although every data centre is unique, it’s commonly quoted that, on average, around 70 per cent of traffic in the data centre is between servers, and this is rising. The growth in east-west traffic is driven by virtualisation inside the data centre, and the need for flexibility to run any application on any machine.

 

Doing this successfully requires a network fabric to deliver consistent performance that is independent of server location. In a true fabric architecture everything is connected to everything else – ideally any device is just one or two network hops away from any other device or resource. The most important advantage of this is predictable low latency for this east-west traffic.

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Software defined networks have, to date, been used mostly to segment the network. But there’s a bigger prize: we can start to automate large, complex network configurations. If we define private cloud as automating the delivery of services for internal customers, then network automation is an essential component of how we “cloudify” the data centre.

 

Today, although you can launch a virtual machine in 10 minutes, it can take many days to attach it to the underlying network. The configuration challenges of network infrastructure aren’t news to our customers. One admitted to me recently that his team had never managed this task inside two weeks. Even when they did, he said, they very rarely got it right.

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The IT department of an expanding company normally has a well-documented procedure that describes all the tasks that involves opening a new branch. Getting the SP to setup the VPN may take several weeks.

 

With virtualizaiton and Automation this time can be reduced enormously. 

 

 

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Chaos is often the friend of store owners - it generates hype, a frenzy, free publicity, all of which can lead to more sales. And what's more, their customers are often willing to put up with this inconvenience if they percieve they get a better deal. But that doesn't translate to networks. Customers want assured access and reliable services whilst service providers want to manage demand in an orderly way. In this blog I contrast the chaos of Black Friday with the order desired by network providers and look at an approach to adopting virtualisation as a means of restoring order.  

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This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Daniel Thomas, Founder and Director, Compare the Cloud.

 

Predictions are hard to frame, but in this post I will try and look forward to 2020 and the role of the data centre in the IT and Cloud world.

 

Today the data centre is a meeting hub of vendors, customers, connectivity and a custodian of data in a controlled secure environment. I do not believe this role will change although the look of a data centre in 2020 will look nothing like the data centre of today.

 

If we look at any sector of industry today, we see that components whether mechanical or physical in nature are getting smaller. Factor in also that processing and networking systems will decrease exponentially in size from what we see today, then we can only expect data centre to evolve too.

 

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There are awards, and then there are AWARDS. Juniper Networks just won the Technology Services Industry Association's 2014 Star Award for "Innovation in Enabling Customer Success - Support Services." If you have any responsibility for operating your network, this should be a big deal for you. Because it underscores why you can - and should - trust your network to Juniper Networks.

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Juniper Networks’ NorthStar WAN SDN Controller is designed to address some fundamental business and technical problems which service providers see in their core, and to some extent also in edge and access networks. Service Providers have limited visibility into the complexity of the inefficiencies in the network infrastructure, which in many case means vast overprovisioning of capacity to meet spokes in traffic demand. This is further compounded in that the additional capacity is duplicated across both packet (IP/MPLS) and optical transport (DWDM) layers of the network, which have historically been planned and managed totally separately, often by different teams.

 

This has resulted in so-called “white space”, which can be as much as 40% unused resources and stranded capacity, which could be used to support new services.  Recovering this white space is similar to defragmenting the hard disk on your PC.

 

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After a few sluggish post-recession years, online sales continue to dominate and drive the U.K. retail sector and consequently, consumers expect a smooth omni-channel experience. This is especially true ahead of Black Friday and the busy holiday period, when consumers will search online for the best deals and then come in store to purchase big ticket items. In order to the make the most of modern technologies and the festive period, retailers need to ensure their technology strategies are in order by utilising modern cloud technologies and aligning digital and physical strategies.

 

Recent U.K. research, commissioned by Juniper Networks, asked 100 business decision-makers in the retail industry with more than 250 employees how they are currently using technology in their business, where they plan to in the future and any barriers to entry they see.

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