I really love movies and books; actually it’s more of a passion. I especially like a plot consisting of disparate story lines that intertwine as time goes on, leading to a conclusion that brings resolution in interesting and surprising ways. I am also an unnatural optimist, so this will be an optimistic exploration into some of the prevailing, seemingly unconnected, themes in networking and hopefully along the way I may say something interesting.
Cheap bandwidth, 100Mbps please! I have a media centre, a desktop, two laptops and various other toys all connected via wireless or fixed Ethernet to my broadband 20Mbps DSL, with 3G backup provided by a smart phone acting as a hotspot, and I am even thinking about getting a femtocell. All my devices are constantly on, consuming music, video and movies, increasingly in HD, and I consume most of my content using streaming sources now. Sometimes I even do legacy stuff like e-mail (and of course work). When these devices are not doing my bidding, I donate spare processing power and bandwidth on all my machines, to group computing projects (GPU).
Increasingly I am accessing this mass of data on the move, I am writing this in a local coffee house on my laptop for instance, and my smart phone is humming away along with my work email device. Recently whilst travelling, I was streaming online movies to my laptop and pumping them into the HDTV in my hotel room. The way I access data, when on the road, is different now with lots of apps on my smart phone constantly demanding data from services that traditionally were only accessed via web pages.
The explosion in connected devices, multiplied by the amount of bandwidth-greedy content being consumed, is causing a bandwidth explosion that will continue. Once seen as uncharacteristic, this is rapidly becoming the norm. Today’s ravenous teenagers make me look like I am having a leisurely snack! This is putting pressure on Service Providers, both fixed and mobile, to upgrade their networks to carry this content without sharing much in the rewards. New innovative approaches and partnerships can take advantage of the changing landscape. I would certainly be willing to pay for a better HD experience, or for a managed backup or other relevant cloud based services which would certainly open up new revenue streams for Service Providers.
The network is not the only challenge. Rapidly expanding pools of data are hosted increasingly along with services and computing in the 'Cloud'. This flood is expanding these pools into lakes and now super data centres like vast oceans are being designed. How these super data centres are built, their resources virtualised and their use orchestrated, is one of the hottest engineering topics around. Ask someone this week to define the term cloud and a week later you might get a different answer, its moving that fast.
All of these threads have one thing in common, change and change on a large scale. There is a network revolution taking place and it's happening now. To build this new network is exciting, and to do it, to pull together all these pieces and make them work together well, we need the right glue. The Juniper network operating system has evolved into the Junos platform and it will come into its own in the next decade. Junos on a chip in Juniper's silicon, Junos on networking devices, Junos Space for network applications and Junos Pulse opening up mobile devices for secure connectivity everywhere, it's an exciting prospect. And not only for us, with the Junos platform being open and extensible via Junos SDKs, we can bring other partners in to be part of the revolution too.
Exploring the vision for the networking industry and the issues shaping its future.