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Value Creation with SDN

by Juniper Employee ‎01-14-2013 09:54 AM - edited ‎02-12-2013 09:40 PM

I believe we may have surprised the networking world today with what can be described as an “oh wow” moment.  It is a 4 step plan that we believe will revolutionize how networks are built and managed for years to come based on the 6 principles of software defined networking (SDN) and the corresponding customer benefits which are:


  1. Cleanly separate networking software into four layers (or planes) – management, services, control, and forwarding – providing the architectural underpinning to optimize each plane within the network.
  2. Centralize the appropriate aspects of the management, services and control software to simplify network design and lower operating costs.
  3. Use the cloud for elastic scale and flexible deployment, enabling usage-based pricing to reduce time-to-service and correlate cost based on value.
  4. Create a platform for network applications, services and integration into management systems, enabling new business solutions.

Standardize protocols for interoperable, heterogeneous support across vendors, providing choice and lowering cost. Broadly apply SDN principles to all networking and network services including security - from the data center and enterprise campus to the mobile and wireline networks used by service providers.


The Opportunity

Now, as we thought through the technology ramifications and requirements of our plan, it became clear to us that a significant new opportunity is developing in the networking market.  An opportunity based on the “S” of SDN.  By separating out and “un-tying” the software services from the underlying hardware  a marketplace of new networking applications, likely packaged in VM’s and hosted in various locations throughout the network, is about to be unleashed. 


The Challenge

But the business challenge was also clear to us.  A software app business model is just not how our customers that build networks think of buying the value they get from networking companies like Juniper.  They buy a thing usually in the shape of a metal box; you can call it a router, switch, firewall, line card, or appliance, among other “things”. The point is, the way the networking business model works for the most part has always been about building and buying a box with software already in it, that a customer buys and integrates into their network.  


Now, all of-the sudden, Juniper has embraced a future networking model in which the value from management applications, service applications and some control applications will be increasingly found running around the network outside the box.  Granted this is not a new concept.  While PC’s, tablets, gaming consoles, and mobile phones still predominately come pre-loaded with software and are sold as a complete system, enterprise applications transcended their physical ties for the most part over a decade ago with the adoption of server virtualization, this trend was eventually accelerated with the coming of “The Clouds.”


The outcome, as we all now know, is that the sever hardware quickly became commoditized. Massive value destruction ensued on the hardware side, and all the subsequent value creation moved rapidly towards the software gals and guys making the software platform, the apps, the virtualization or the stuff that orchestrates it all. 


Some that recall this period, erroneously jump to one of what we call at Juniper, “The 7 Myths of SDN.”


      #2.  It’s all about reducing CAPEX


The underlying assumption they have made is that all hardware in the network will become the same commoditized, undifferentiated x86 servers that struck down the computer server industry.  Because of the nature of networking and the need to distribute capabilities, as well as the continuing need for innovation in embedding functionality in the ASICs and design of the forwarding plane on high performance devices—it’s just not going to happen that way in the SDN network transformation.  Juniper will continue to innovate and drive a great business in this traditional model.   But that’s a whole series of different blog’s and if you are really interested about that discussion go to Bob Muglia’s blog, “Decoding SDN” on the 6 principles of SDN and read the part on Step 4 and the value of hardware optimization.  


What is true is that this is new for us all in the networking industry. The potential for value creation in this brave new world of “Network Software Apps” is upon us, and Juniper is ALL IN.


The Transformation Begins

“Good artist borrow, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso


One of the benefits of not going first is that if you pay attention you can learn from those that have, and better yet, learn from their mistakes.  We are using the example of what the server and enterprise app industry went through in the last decade and will blatantly re-use many of their practices with a “networking industry” twist to launch a new software licensing model at Juniper.


The “software” licenses of today’s networking industry generally have 4 common and unfortunate customer unfriendly characteristics.




  1. The software is embedded as part of the hardware device and many times the software is not even called out separately. Therefore, the value of the application or service is just “included” in the price of the hardware itself and not well understood by the customer as to what the hardware value is vs. the software value. 
  2. The software is restricted.  A customer can’t copy and run the application with all the same configurations on a new piece of hardware, they have to buy it with each appliance and configure it individually.
  3. If the software is identifiable on the device, in most cases it’s not transferable.  The software license is bound to a specific hardware device by license rights and many times even needs the hardware serial number to unlock the software to allow it to run.
  4. It has a limited lifetime that is bound to the network device it is running on.  When a customer is ready to rip and replace a networking device, the software goes with it and the customer pays for it again (or more likely a newer version of the software application) with the new replacement hardware.

We think that with our new strategy and following the 6 principles of SDN we can do something MUCH more valuable for the customer, while at the same time creating a new long term business opportunity for Juniper.  We call this new model the Juniper Software Advantage. 



To start, this approach has the following attributes at its core;

Simple: Simple for the customer to understand the value the software provides as well as simple to buy, use and manage rights by our customers.
Repeatable: License models which facilitate repeatable use among multiple software offerings and usage scenarios.
Measurable:  Licenses that charge based on customer needs and are easy to measure.


This new license model will provide the following customer benefits:


  1. Boundless.  Network software applications and services will be offered in a licensing model that “un-ties” the software from the underlying hardware
  2. Transferrable. License rights that provide the flexibility to transition the software application VM license to different x86 and cloud SDN models across the customers network, dynamically with no penalty and one licensing measurement. This allows customers to migrate to new models faster without fear of losing their investment or the established service chain that is already operating on their network.  They can move a Juniper app across their network from service blade embedded in a Juniper router, to an X86 blade within that same router, to a tethered rack of industry-standard x86 servers, to their private cloud, or to a cloud provider, as they choose, when they choose. 
  3. Elastic.  As a network service demand picks up and more application instances or capability is required, a customer can “turn it on” and start running more of the Juniper software capability without requiring a “lock key” to start.  They pay as they use more with no fear of paying a “true up” penalty later. 
  4. Perpetual Lifetime.   With Juniper Software Advantage license and maintenance, the software will always be current and supported.  No more software expiring with underlying hardware, all updates, bug fixes, version upgrades are included.

These new benefits are precisely aligned to facilitate our customer’s transition to Juniper’s new SDN architecture in their networks; but we did not want to just stop here, because we do believe that more benefits + more simple = more customer value.


What’s Next

As we continue to define the roadmap for new management, service and control applications that will be built as part of our SDN strategy; we will roll out the network applications and services licenses in a coherent way.  You will see a new software products naming convention from Juniper to correspond with these new software applications and services products. 


The first of these new Juniper Software Advantage application licenses will appear in the first half of 2013, with more to come as applications are built for this exciting new world of SDN networking. 


You can expect to hear more from us, and me specifically, in future blog posts over the coming few months. I will expand upon our license model framework, our concept of “fair deal” value pricing, a new simplified approach to software license packages targeted to run the customer network vs. software to host and provide as a managed service offering to others on a customer’s network, the perils of “Free-mium” software models in a mission critical network, and more.


You can also expect to read how customers later this year will be able to convert current software licenses they have purchased previously from Juniper to the new Juniper Software Advantage model as they look to Juniper to help them transform to an SDN network future. 


It’s exciting times here at Juniper as we build new value for our customers with SDN!


Juniper Networks Technical Books
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.
  • I am an experienced leader in the Information Experience (iX) industry. For over 20 years, I've led information organizations at Juniper, Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle to deliver quality technical documentation and information products to customers and partners across the globe.
  • Bob Dix currently serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs & Critical Infrastructure Protection for Juniper Networks. During his career, he has served in senior leadership roles in industry and government, including serving as Staff Director for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census during the 108th Congress. He represents Juniper on the Industry Executive Point of Contact for the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee ( NSTAC ), where he chaired the Cybersecurity Collaboration Task Force in 2009. He served as Chair of the Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council ( IT SCC ) from 2008 – 2010 and currently remains a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Dix was elected in May, 2011 as Chair of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security ( PCIS ). He also serves on the National Security Task Force for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the AFCEA Cyber Security Committee and Chairs the Supply Chain Assurance Subcommittee for TechAmerica. Additionally, Dix has actively worked to insure and coordinate private sector participation and collaboration with the National Exercise Program, intended to test our nation’s preparedness and resiliency. He served as Chair of the National Private Sector Working Group for National Level Exercise 2011 and 2010. In 2007 and 2009, Dix was honored with a prestigious Federal 100 Award, and was recognized in March, 2010 as the recipient of the annual FCW Industry Eagle Award. Dix also served as a local government elected official in Northern Virginia for 12 years and in his spare time coaches AAU/Travel girls basketball.
  • 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.
  • Kevin Walker is the Security Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Juniper’s Development and Innovation (JDI) organization. He is responsible for driving the security strategy both internally within Juniper, and externally with investors, partners, influencers, and customers. He provides the guidance required for JDI to conceive, develop and create momentum for industry-leading security solutions. Working closely with the Security Engineering team, Walker identifies the opportunities for improved security, growth, and innovation to deliver the scalable, reliable, and compliant security architecture needed in today’s security landscape. Before joining Juniper, Walker was VP and Assistant Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at He has served as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Security Strategist and Director of Information Security across a number of notable companies including Intuit, Cisco, Symantec and VERITAS Software. With over twenty-five years in various computer science and information technology disciplines, focusing on enterprise applications, network design, and information security, Walker possesses research and engineering expertise across of range of technologies including networking protocols, securing applications at the atomic level, cryptography, and speech biometrics.
  • As Juniper’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Line Management, Kevin Hutchins is responsible for defining and enabling Juniper’s strategy from company vision into product execution. This includes driving the company’s inorganic growth through strategic partnerships, venture investments and acquisitions/divestitures. In addition, he is responsible for driving key strategic imperatives, including Juniper’s software strategy and transformation. Hutchins joined Juniper in 2010 as Vice President, Portfolio Management & Business Operations for Juniper’s Development & Innovation team where he led business planning, portfolio rationalization, new product introduction and execution of strategic programs across Juniper’s portfolio of routing, switching and security products.
  • 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.
  • Masum Mir is Vice President of Product, Solutions & Technical Marketing at Juniper Networks. Masum is responsible for the Switching product line, network management product line and optical technologies. Beside product leadership Masum also leads cloud strategy and solution architecture. Masum has 19 years of experience in communication and data networking industry with Expertise in Ethernet Switching, Data Center, Carrier Ethernet, Routing, overlay & network segmentation, Fabric technology & photonics technology.
  • 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.
  • Pradeep Sindhu founded Juniper Networks in February 1996, and has held several central roles in shaping the company. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, and is responsible for the company's technical roadmap as well as day-to-day design and development of future products. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for eight months when he founded the company. During that time, he played a central role in the architecture, design, and development of the M40 router.
  • Rami Rahim is Chief Executive Officer of Juniper Networks and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Rahim was appointed CEO in November 2014. Rahim began his Juniper career in early 1997, as employee No. 32, and worked as an engineer on Juniper’s first breakthrough product, the M40 core router. Rahim has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Juniper, applying his engineering acumen to the design and development of Juniper’s industry-leading product portfolio. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Juniper Development and Innovation (JDI) organization, overseeing the company’s entire product and technology portfolio. His responsibilities included driving strategy, development and business growth for routing, switching, security, silicon technology, and the Junos operating system. Other leadership positions held over the years include: Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform Systems Division for routing and switching, Senior Vice President of the Edge and Aggregation Business Unit (EABU), and Vice President and General Manager of EABU.
  • As Chief Customer Officer, Vince Molinaro is responsible for driving the strategic and operational elements of the Sales, Marketing, Partners, Services and Support functions at Juniper Networks. He leads a global organization of more than 3,500 professionals that includes direct and indirect sales, systems engineering, advanced technologies and field operations. Molinaro brings more than 25 years of professional experience in engineering, product management, marketing, sales and operations to his worldwide role. He joined Juniper in 2009 and led the strategy and go-to-market execution for the company’s global service provider business. He was named EVP, Worldwide Sales in 2013 before assuming his current role in February 2014. Prior to joining Juniper, Molinaro held senior leadership positions at a number of technology companies including Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and Internap Network Services. He has extensive domestic and international experience having lived and managed large organizations throughout Europe and the U.S. Molinaro holds a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from University of Bridgeport. He is based out of the Juniper Networks facility in New Jersey, home of OpenLab, The Junos and SDN Center for Innovation.
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