Rami recently articulated Juniper’s vision for the future: an era of “Digital Cohesion” that will usher in substantial changes in the way we interact with technology. Digital Cohesion refers to “a future in which applications connect and self-assemble to deliver compelling mega-services that enhance our lives.” To realize this vision, Juniper is hard at work tackling four challenges:
Individual services that have never been used previously may be called upon to communicate with other services to complete the task at hand - this means openness and disaggregation at every layer in the stack.
Digital Cohesion will require that service providers and enterprises provision numerous services instantly to deliver a frictionless customer experience. It will not be humanly possible to keep up with this demand manually, but there is a solution: Automation. As services intertwine and networks become more pervasive and complex the only way to make the economics work is through automation.
Juniper’s automation Strategy is to 1. Reduce operational complexity through simplification and abstraction; 2. Enable customers to deploy new network services faster; and 3. Improve capacity utilization and network resiliency through deep telemetry. To help our customers execute on this strategy Juniper has constructed an automation framework that consists of a comprehensive suite of tools, extension kits, and programmatic interfaces. But to truly unleash the power of Digital Cohesion we need to go beyond mere automation. We need to push toward networks that operate autonomously:
We refer to this end state as the “Self-Driving Network (TM),” where networks self-discover, self-configure, self-monitor, self-fill in the blank – this is what “SDN” stands for, right? Networks need to become more predictive and adaptive to their environments. The path to these “zero touch” networks relies on telemetry, automation, machine learning, and programming with declarative intent.
Humans currently bogged down in the many tedious aspects of running networks will be freed up and allowed to focus on higher-level, strategic activities. Yes, some jobs will disappear, but many others will evolve, and new jobs will be created. Too many people in our industry are fearful of automation and the “robots taking our jobs.” We view the future much more optimistically. While many speak of artificial intelligence, we prefer to think in terms of augmented intelligence.
You’ll hear much more from us about Digital Cohesion and the Self-Driving NetworkTM in 2017. . .