The Challenging Journey Toward Network Transformation
Jun 8, 2017
At Juniper Networks, we see customers across all industries seeking to modernize their legacy networks through massive digital transformations. Each customer is different, but most share similar goals. They want to be able to increase the speed of application and services deployment, decrease production times through automation, enhance security and business continuity, and achieve greater flexibility while lowering operational costs.
Migrating from traditional hardware infrastructures toward software-defined data center architectures makes these goals attainable, but the journey toward digital transformation can be extraordinarily challenging. We frequently talk with customers trying to determine how to modernize data centers with near-end-of-life infrastructures and massive numbers of proprietary legacy hardware devices. For them, the thought of taking what they have had for years and standardizing it with a consistent design and architecture – and doing so securely and within budget – is a daunting prospect.
Choosing the Right Path
Fortunately, there are multiple pathways available. For some customers, a “Big Bang” approach to modernization, in which the entire data center is transformed at one time, might be appropriate. Others may require a “Pod-by-Pod” approach, in which pods of a manageable size and Layer 3 (L3) connectivity between the legacy network infrastructure is used to transform the network in a more methodical way. Still others may choose a “Phased Dynamic Interconnect” process that requires both Layer 2 (L2) and L3 connectivity between the legacy infrastructure and the new environment. This path ultimately allows for greater flexibility in terms of migration of services and applications.
Choosing the most appropriate option, however, can be difficult, especially for managers who may never have embarked on such an undertaking. They may need help in planning and building their digital transformation, as well as hands-on guidance to see them through the entire process.
A Phased Approach to Transformation
With this in mind, we’ve established a phased approach to digital transformation, during which we work hand-in-hand with customers throughout their entire modernization journey. In a logical and strategic manner, Juniper Networks’ Professional Services team works with organizations to establish an appropriate roadmap that incorporates a combination of best practices consulting and analysis, test-driven design, risk mitigation, and proven project management methodologies.
This approach involves:
Planning, where we assess the current state of our customers’ networks -- including application infrastructure, automation needs, existing processes, and identification of potential security risks -- and establish their criteria for transformation success.
Design, in which we develop proof of concepts and risk mitigation procedures, ascertain software needs, explore and recommend migration paths, and create the overall high- and low-level network design.
Validation, where we rigorously test and verify the network design, migration plans, automation capabilities, and more.
Implementation, during which we completely build, or integrate, everything that’s come before, and formally deploy the network in a production environment.
A hands-on and personal approach is critical. We find that the best way to ensure success is to insert our team members into our customers’ sites and have them work side-by-side with managers. Ongoing interaction helps our team members really understand organizational needs and ensures a seamless transformation with minimal risk. It also provides the team with the opportunity to go beyond facilitating IT operations. For Juniper, this means establishing a trusted, long-lasting relationship, as well as ensuring—through transfer of knowledge workshops and training--that our customers’ personnel become self-sufficient in managing their new networks going forward.
The end result lays the groundwork for customers’ networking future, today. That future is automated, cost-effective, efficient, flexible, and secure.
If you’d like to learn more about our Professional Services, download a copy of our white paper on transforming data center networks, or contact your Juniper account manager or partner representative for more information.