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

The Business Case for…

Automating your network (aka ‘doing more, with less…’)


I’m often asked about ‘Digital Transformation’ and what it means. So while there are many ways to define it, there is one universal truth - that many organisations operating in the digital economy now have to react to change and innovate faster than ever before.


Equally, during these conversations, I’m struck by the extent to which the online economy continues to exert pressure across every aspect of the business, forcing change on almost every level. And fuelling this change, in an always connected/always available world, is sky-high customer expectation, meaning that today’s commercial imperative is not only focused on keeping up with market forces, but finding ways to stay ahead of them.


So when looking across this new economic landscape and the many opportunities it presents, it’s clear the entire organisation has to evolve with it. Businesses need to act and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions and the challenges they bring. And whether it’s an enterprise or SMB, a public sector organisation or service provider, transforming into a fast-moving digital business is a journey many organisations have already begun, while many have yet to start.


SDN NFVWhen commentators talk about SDN/NFV strategy and benefits it is often linked to service agility. But what is surprising to me is that nobody seems to make the link to the Agile Software Development model that is already widely adopted in the wider ICT industry.


In the past, software developers used to plan all the features for a major release and then do a project plan that said we can deliver it all 18-24 months from now. Many developers would then get to work, and often miss the deadline at the end.


On March 11th Juniper Networks announced multiple new innovations around scaling the PTX core router, a new range of high density data centre switches and enhancements to our security products. Much of the coverage of these announcements was product centric, so in a world where a lot of the industry buzz is around new areas such as SDN, virtualisation and service agility you may be left thinking “so what?”


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. 




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?


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. 




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.  


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.


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.


Cloud Contrail. The Virtual Revolution is here.

by Juniper Employee on ‎11-12-2014 03:51 AM - last edited on ‎11-17-2014 04:52 AM by Administrator Administrator

A few days ago I attended the Juniper Press and Analyst event in London, where I was presenting our new Contrail Cloud Solutions. You can watch a video of my presentation and a summary in my blog.




NFV - All Change for Speeds and Feeds

by Juniper Employee ‎10-31-2014 08:08 AM - edited ‎11-10-2014 08:10 AM

Speeds and feeds has been the mantra for as long as I can remember but is all that about to change? In my view the answer is no. As NFV discussions, trials and implementations gather pace speeds and feed will continue to hold their place in our psyche but not as you know it. I explore the new direction for speeds and feeds in this blog.


Cloudy with a Chance of ...

by Juniper Employee on ‎10-06-2014 02:59 PM

I was a bit surprised when I saw the stats that among the most commonly downloaded and used apps are the weather apps. Upon some thinking the reason seemed obvious, that our life these days depends on accurate weather forecast. One of my habits is to look at the weather early in morning to decide what to wear and even plan my day, whether the weather is good enough to do an afternoon jog, etc. Some of the advances in weather reporting in recent years is that weather technology companies are retrofitting planes to collect invaluable data during their normal flights. Whether we realize or not all of our air trips are now contributing to the accuracy of the global weather forecast. Next time try to itemize your air tickets on the tax return as your contribution to a global cause, good luck!




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”.


without boundaries.jpg


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


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. 


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?





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