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

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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AndyJ

Managing the network fabric

by Juniper Employee on ‎12-17-2014 08:29 AM

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.

 

Click the title to read more on this blog post...

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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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Have you heard of the Human Microbiome? It is the hundreds of species of microbes that live in our bodies and play an important role in our health. Figuring out what is in your microbiome or mine is a major Big Data challenge, not unlike what Juniper engineers do when trying to find out what has gone wrong with one of our products. It takes a lot more than just a gut feeling . . .

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Humair Raza

Change Need Not Be Disruptive

by Juniper Employee ‎11-24-2014 07:36 AM - edited ‎11-24-2014 01:09 PM

We humans despise change, new place, new job, new friends always give fright. But sometimes we have to go through the change process, one such event is the virtualization wave sweeping through the networking world. Service providers having to manage the unprecedented growth of traffic in their network and the need from their customers to enable customizable services are planning to virtualize certain network functions including edge routing, mobile packet core, IMS and such.

 

Even though this change is inevitable, it does not have to be painful. This is one of the key differentiators for the recently launched vMX platform from Juniper Networks. vMX is the virtualized version of the industry leading edge routing platform, running the virtualized control plane (Junos) and virtualized forwarding plane (Trio PFE). This approach provides a consistency in operation from physical to virtual environment so that operators do not need to get trained on new operating system and utilize the familiar processes to configure and manage the hybrid (virtual + physical) networks.

 

vMX was launched at Juniper’s EMEA AR/PR summit on November 6th. Stuart Borgman ran the demo of vMX to highlight some of the key value propositions, you can watch the recorded version of the demo to appreciate the fact that indeed change can be non-disruptive.

 

“It’s your network that’s not performing” A familiar refrain from the Developer whose application is coming under fire for not performing properly. 

 

The challenge that many network operations staff face is that today’s Data Centre networks are becoming increasingly complicated with many complex components including large switching, routing and VLAN architectures that can be implicated in performance degradations. This is further compounded with the fact the performance hits can be transient with issues such as microbursts and the net result is like trying to track down the will-o’-the- wisp.

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This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO and CoCreator, Big Innovation Centre.

 

Juniper Networks is again at the cutting edge of the smarter society with its vMX – the revolutionary virtual routing for enterprise and service provider networks. In the Big Innovation Centre panel session at the Juniper Networks technology showcase in London on November 6th we heard from EDF Energy, The Guardian, D&B and Juniper Networks about how energy, finance, health, publishing – to name but a few industries – are transformed by the new digital alchemies.

 

Networks are our new general purpose technology connecting the innovation ecosystem, business models, cities and more. Their transformative power resembles that of the railways, electrification, mass production and the early days of the public Internet. What is different is that network solutions do not sit outside the cities, businesses and homes which adopt them; they inherently only co-exist within them. This puts co-creation and peoples’ connected ideas at the heart of a new type of intangible industrial revolution, in which data and information are our new water, steel, electricity and oil. Networks of businesses, banks and universities are collaborating to exploit hitherto unimaginable volumes of digital data, to generate the social engagement, jobs and wealth we thought we could only dream of. Everyone agrees that it’s time for the ‘have-nots’ to join in.

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The great American writer Mark Twain said Mark Twain.jpg“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Although this is still pretty much true (geoengineering and climate modification notwithstanding), a lot of effort does go into predicting the weather. It turns out that some of the same techniques are used by Juniper Networks to find, fix, and even forecast problems in our products.

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Paul Gainham

20 Years of Networking Innovation on a USB stick

by Juniper Employee ‎11-19-2014 12:39 AM - edited ‎11-19-2014 06:18 AM

I was lucky enough to be one of the people attending the Juniper Networks Launch Event on the 6th November 2014 in London at which we announced key new enhancements to the portfolio, including the Virtual MX Router, the worlds’ first carrier grade virtual router and Contrail Cloud, a reference architecture for NFV deployments.

 

As I sat listening to both Juniper and non-juniper people present, I started thinking about how you could represent what we were saying and launching within the 140 character limits of twitter, which as always forces you to summarise!

 

In the end, the tweet I sent out was the following and for me it helped summarise for me, what in my career at Juniper I have seen us do time and time again, we bring the future into focus.

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