Few who have watched the film of the same name will forget the compelling scene towards the end where the group of captured slaves are asked to identify Spartacus from amongst them and one by one they memorably stand to each proclaim ’I’m Spartacus.’
Bear with me as I somewhat tenuously (for now) draw a parallel between that scene and the claims and cries of IT and Networking vendors as they all clamour to shout ‘I’m Open’
It seems as though ever since I was a young lad, vendors in the IT community have positioned themselves as “open”. It could be argued of course that no one would ever claim they are closed and proprietary so the word open became almost the default or ‘safe harbour’ position.
Those claims over years have adopted a ‘cry wolf’ type reputation and many people, yours truly included, often glaze over when I hear yet another vendor join the clarion call of ‘I’m open’. It has become a pretty meaningless and non-differentiated statement with decreasing value.
But here’s the thing: amidst the claims, the marketing hype and the superlative soup there are often gems of real, true openness that are meaningful, beneficial and delivering real answers today.
From PowerPoint to the real point.
Working for a vendor, I would be the last to claim anyone in the vendor community is a perfect example of open, and yet developments in areas such as Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualisation are acting as true game changers. Both were born ‘open’ as concepts, led by end user demands. In many ways that has acted as a truly compelling catalyst for all vendors and particularly those in the networking community to respond to.
Some have heeded that call, others have been, shall we say, less embracing.
You may have figured out by now that I work in marketing and are probably wondering if I will ever get to the real point of this blog.
I will, almost there
Juniper Networks has taken up a number of very strong positions when it comes to providing open networking solutions in the domains it operates in, nowhere more so than in the data centre and probably none more compelling that its OpenContrail solution – a networking controller for SDN and NFV deployments based on an open source distribution.
It puts choice in the hands of customers. You can download, evaluate, prove and then deploy an open source distribution of OpenContrail within your network. Or go ahead and download, evaluate, prove and then utilize the licensed version that is backed up by 24/7 vendor support. One product, two clear options, your choice.
It acts as a key proof point of the ‘open by default’ approach pervasive across Juniper, none more so than in the data centre, where OpenContrail, Software disaggregation on our QFX switches, a white box switch and finally a full range of APIs and automation interfaces such as Ansible, Chef and Puppet for our underlay infrastructure products deliver a truly compelling ‘Open Networking platform’ that again puts choice in the hands of you the customer.
My challenge as a marketing individual is how do I tell you that story in a way that addresses your real data centre needs, gives a flavor of the future to come but tellingly is based in the world of reality and pragmatism? That needs to be based on things that we can deliver to you today that bring real advantages in operational and capital cost control, in a manner that respects the legacy that exists and crucially deliver’s key IT use cases such as Hybrid Cloud, SDN, Micro-segmentation and Multi-tenancy in a manner that proprietary solutions quickly run out of steam in.
So here’s my offer, take a look at and register for one of the 8 ‘Open Disruptive Decade’ summits that Juniper Networks is running between September and December in various city locations across Europe and the Middle East.
If you are responsible for data centre strategy, architecture, design, implementation and support with a particular interest in the extended network and security elements at the very foundation of your data centre and believe that an Open Networking approach has a compelling resonance, this event has been designed from the ground up for you.
Should you choose not to register, parts 2, 3 and 4 of this ramble await you.
If you do register, I promise to end my blog here.