Just as networking technology is evolving, so too are the architectures that connect and support applications and services. In today’s IT world, there is no enterprise-wide infrastructure. Rather, there are individual networks—data center, campus, branch, public cloud and WAN—each with their own teams, budgets, priorities and tools. And while these networks are also likely to have their own micro drivers for change, ultimately the evolution of network architectures will be somewhat co-dependent as the industry converges isolated devices into coherently-managed resource pools.
As Bikash Koley, Juniper Networks’ CTO, mentioned in his blog, Network Reliability Engineering is catching on as the practice applies to NetOps and Juniper has hitched our wagon to this positive trend and the 5-step journey to automated network operations. Today, if enterprises have a physical network that they want to automate or change, one of the most essential actions they would need to take to reach Network Reliable Engineering is to rigorously test it before releasing a production or live network.
Juniper has physical Customer Certification Labs (CCL) around the globe that give customers a controlled environment where they can simulate their network and test new services, software, configurations and hardware. This physical testing lab can help validate compatibility with their specific set-up before the actual deployment of their network, ensuring the reduction of risk, as well as providing a smooth and simple path for any upgrades, configuration changes and production deployments
For many in the networking space, disaggregation has become synonymous with white box switching.The concept of disaggregation, however, is actually broader and can have a profound effect on the industry at large.
At Juniper Networks, disaggregation is both the strategic thrust behind a lot of our efforts and an engineering principle that underscores virtually every architectural decision we make. It is at once an explicit part of our roadmap and an implicit directive to our engineering teams.
“The 80s called and they want their CLI back.” Until recently, that was basically the beckoning call of the network automation and programmability plot. Like a broken record, the replayed attention on tools and APIs talked of new NetOps technology, but it didn’t paint a picture of the promised land. It didn’t provide a map and it didn’t prepare anyone professionally.
Today, as Network Reliability Engineering (NREs) roles pave the way from CLIs to SLIs and other higher-order SRE-inspired methods and metrics, the picture of automated NetOps is crystalizing. Juniper Networks has elaborated the 5-step map of the journey. And now, with the launch of NRE Labs, Juniper is introducing the virtual training camp to support the trip to the promised land. It’s open—open source and open for use—and it’s by and for network engineers.
DevOps and automation are taking the world by storm. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear talk about Infrastructure as Code (IaC), incorporating CI/CD pipelines into network operations or the need to evolve engineering skills to fulfill the needs of the emerging Network Reliability Engineering (NRE) role. It seems that everywhere you look, organizations are talking about the need to incorporate automation processes into their workflows in order to ease the burden of typical network operations – everything from automating the configurations to facilitating the management of and easing the deployment of both physical and virtual devices in the network. Businesses want to move in this direction for the obvious benefits -- lowered OpEx, increased speed and agility, improved quality and to gain a competitive edge.
In Juniper Network’s anthology of 5-step frameworks, we take a different turn. Instead of focusing on a network domain vertical like the 5-steps for data center, campus, WAN and branch, we are focused horizontally across all domains on network automation. This 5-step can apply to any place in network, and be overlaid like a transparency, for example, over the data center 5-step.