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Intent-Driven Cloud

by Juniper Employee on ‎05-08-2017 06:00 AM

Carriers and enterprises know that success today is largely dependent upon giving customers and business units infrastructure choices that allow them to continuously move faster, all the time. New and improved applications and network services must be developed, packaged, and deployed across different environments—public, private, proprietary, open. To get there, they need a reliable and scalable infrastructure with security that is consistent across all environments, reducing complexity and risk while supporting growth opportunities.


Making this a reality requires giving developers a new set of abstractions that allow them to specify the infrastructure performance requirements that these services will demand in order for them to deliver the business value that customers expect. At the same time, operators of the infrastructure need to automate the monitoring and remedial actions necessary to keep those applications performing as expected.


This, in a nutshell, is what Intent-Driven Cloud is all about.


Intent-Driven Cloud is a concept that extends terms like “intent-driven networking” that were advanced by Gartner and others. Think of Intent-Driven Cloud as a means whereby application developers can inform the infrastructure what needs to be accomplished rather than what to do. Intent-Driven Cloud abstracts individual configurations away from the developer to more closely align infrastructure with the actual purpose the application needs delivered.


This approach allows us to translate higher-level business policy (what) into necessary configurations (how). It provides configuration across the infrastructure via automation or orchestration. And it can dynamically optimize application and software-defined infrastructure performance and assure network function service levels by validating in real-time that the stated intentions are being met. If not, the system can take corrective action based on automation informed, in part, by machine learning and A.I.


Through the synergy of Juniper Networks AppFormix, Contrail Networking and Software-Defined Secure Networks (SDSN), Juniper Networks has delivered these capabilities with real-world implementations.


How AppFormix Makes Intent-Driven Cloud Possible

The AppFormix platform for cloud operations is purpose-built to deliver an Intent-Driven Cloud. It is built to leverage big-data analytics and machine learning to redefine telemetry and operations management for cloud-native applications and infrastructure. Acquired by Juniper Networks at the end of 2016, AppFormix offers real-time and historic monitoring, visibility and dynamic performance optimization.


AppFormix is a new breed of full-stack optimization and management software that tracks performance and corrects orchestration of applications and software-defined infrastructure in real-time. The platform uses a distributed edge-computing approach coupled with machine learning to monitor environments where maintaining network performance demands quick response time.


Service Assurance

AppFormix is a tool for service assurance to optimize the performance of infrastructure and applications and provide guidance for services. The purpose of service assurance is to optimize the end-user experience while maximizing the profitability of services delivered over the network. It provides capabilities for operators in cloud-native environments powered by OpenStack (running VMs as well as containers), on VMware vCenter, Kubernetes and in public clouds. AppFormix software provides predictive analytics driven by machine learning to issue alerts and take remedial action before performance problems impact users.


When using software-defined, cloud-based environments to deliver network functions—like internet access, firewall, VPN, VoIP and load balancing—a reliable infrastructure layer is key to reliable service availability. Metrics such as drop rate, latency and jitter are tracked to manage virtualized network function (VNF) performance. AppFormix reduces jitter by more than 70 percent in environments where VNFs are deployed across thousands of nodes and dozens of geographic regions.


In these virtualized environments, operators need automated and real-time tools to schedule VNF workloads across network infrastructure that is often distributed across many nodes and regions. Faults must be detected, quantified and remediated in real time, and that’s what AppFormix software delivers.


Application Monitoring for the Cloud-Native Era

AppFormix takes the high-level business intent provided by operators and developers—service levels, for instance—then monitors cloud operations to ensure that this intent is being met. If not, AppFormix can:

(a)       inform the operator and developer/application that the intent is not being met;

(b)       inform the respective orchestration tool of the violation in real-time, along with the insight of what needs to be done to remedy the violation (these are global actions, going to one or more controllers, e.g., nova for VM scheduling, or heat for workload scheduling, or Contrail for network scheduling); and

(c)       take local corrective/orchestration actions to ensure that adequate resources are supplied to the workload to meet the intent.


Stated more simply, AppFormix is the mechanism for translating “what” into “how” with automated implementation, real-time state awareness and dynamic optimization. It provides a 360 degree loopback mechanism and visibility to ensure that the intent of cloud operators, let’s say SLA for a specific VNF service, is properly fulfilled.  


What does this mean for cloud operators? With AppFormix, cloud operators have the means to heuristically validate that infrastructure environments are in sync with the organization’s business intent. The ultimate outcome of this approach is cloud infrastructure that not only aligns with business intentions but also delivers unprecedented speed and agility. In essence, delivering the Intent-Driven Cloud.


Want to Learn More?

Come see us at OpenStack Summit Boston, booth #A1 and check out our full list of activities planned at the event.


Sumeet Singh, Vice President of Engineering at Juniper and founder of AppFormix, as well as other Juniper executives, will be available for press interviews during the conference. Please contact Michelle Zimmermann ( with any requests.

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About the Author
  • Prior to Juniper acquisition, Ankur was the Founder and CEO of Contrail Systems Inc - a pioneer in standards based network virtualization and scale-out networking software. Ankur has over 15 years of experience in building world-class networking products and leading high performance teams. Prior to Contrail, Ankur served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering at Aruba Networks, where he played critical roles in the rapid expansion of team, products, and global businesses. Before Aruba, Ankur helped drive Juniper’s initial entry into and expansion of the Ethernet Switching market. Ankur received his MSEE from Stanford University & BSEE from the University of Southern California.
  • 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.
  • Donyel Jones-Williams is the Director of Service Provider Product Marketing Management overseeing all of Juniper's Service Provider Products for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads all of the internal and external marketing activities for Juniper with respect to routing, automation, SDN and NFV. 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.
  • Remarkably organized stardust.
  • Jennifer Blatnik is vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks with focus on enterprise deployments of security, routing, switching, and SDN products, as well as cloud solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises solve network security challenges. Before joining Juniper, Jennifer served multiple roles at Cisco Systems, Inc., including directing product management for security technologies aimed at small to medium enterprises, as well as supporting managed services, cloud service architectures and go-to-market strategies. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
  • Jerry oversees all aspects of OpenLab which serves as a catalyst to spark the development of new innovative software applications or solutions that leverage the power of SDN/network programmability and intelligence. OpenLab is unique within Juniper and with its polished facility, globally accessible lab, and educational programs – such as the SDN “hackathons,” it serves as a tool for customer, partners, and academia. Prior to this position, Jerry led the development, management and marketing of the company’s strategic partnerships for video/unified communications, optical networking, and content/media delivery. In addition to handling the day-to-day oversight of the partnerships, he established new cross-partner go-to-market processes to drive and manage joint field opportunities. Before joining Juniper, Jerry led the Lucent Technologies application hosting/service provider marketing organization. He has over 25 years of experience in the data networking field with a focus on strategic alliance development, marketing, and technical field support. Jerry possesses a BS degree in Computer Science from St. John’s University in New York. He is active as a Juniper ambassador within the technology and academic community which includes advisory board positions with both NJIT and Rutgers in New Jersey.
  • I have been in the networking industry for over 35 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Twelve years in the US, over 25 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 I have been at Juniper, focusing on solutions and services: solving business problems via products and projects. 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:
  • Mark Belk is the National Government Chief Architect at Juniper Networks
  • Mike Marcellin is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing team responsible for marketing Juniper’s product and services portfolio and stewarding the brand, driving preference for Juniper in the market, training our partners and account teams, and developing a differentiated information experience for our customers. Before joining the global marketing organization, Marcellin led business strategy and marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading portfolio of high-performance routing, switching and security products. Prior to joining Juniper in 2010, Marcellin served as Vice President of Global Managed Solutions for Verizon, where he oversaw product development and marketing of its managed IP networking, hosting, security and IT solutions for businesses around the world. He also served as Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Verizon Business, executive director of Verizon Business’ IP and Ethernet portfolio as well as leading the company’s eCRM marketing division. Marcellin began his career with MCI in 1994. Marcellin is a Board Member for the Telecommunications Industry Association and a Board Member of US Ignite, an NSF-sponsored initiative. Marcellin holds two patents and was a Rodman Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree with distinction in systems engineering. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • 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: twitter: @neilpound my personal blog: my LinkedIn account: Neil Pound
  • Paul Obsitnik is Vice President of Service Provider Marketing for Juniper Networks Platform Systems Division (PSD), responsible for the marketing of Juniper’s portfolio of high performance routing, switching, and data center fabric products to Service Providers globally. Paul's team is responsible for marketing strategy, product marketing, go-to-market planning, and competitive analysis worldwide for the Service Provider segment. Obsitnik has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development positions with a proven track record in creating technology markets. He has served in senior marketing and sales management positions at several companies including BridgeWave Communications, ONI Systems, NorthPoint Communications and 3Com. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Obsitnik is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Praful Lalchandani is a Product Manager at Juniper Networks focussing on the Data Center portfolio. Praful is a seasoned veteran in the networking industry, with experience spanning over 15 years building networking products and helping service providers, cloud providers and enterprises with their networking requirements.
  • Pratik Roychowdhury currently leads product management for Juniper's SDN and Cloud Software product namely Contrail. He has been with Juniper Networks for the last six years, leading product management activities for Juniper’s Network Virtualization and Network Programmability products and taking some of these products from concept to release. Overall, Pratik has spent 16+ years in the hi-tech industry assuming various roles including product development at Citrix, strategy & product management at early stage start-ups, and technology investment banking at UBS. Pratik has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross School of Business).
  • VP of engineering, Juniper Networks & founder, AppFormix Entrepreneur and founder with successful exits from two networking startups. Sumeet holds more than 20 patents with technologies implemented in shipping products and has received numerous awards from organizations as diverse as MIT and Interop. His AppFormix team at Juniper Networks is shipping an automated, real-time monitoring environment that uses AI and machine learning to autonomously mitigate application and network function issues before they impact QoS or user experience.