There’s lots of buzz in the industry around automation and APIs on networking platforms, especially to enable software defined networking for enterprises. While such enhancements would be great for organizations with dedicated DevOps teams, they aren’t much help for most enterprises that don’t have the luxury of such teams. Most organizations are looking for a network solution that self-manages without the need for extensive in-house automation capabilities.
You may be thinking that that’s a bold statement from someone at Juniper Networks – a company built upon high performance routing. So, why did I include High Performance in the four network essentials for the future (Automated, Open, Secure, and High Performance)?
There are many benefits of an open network, but they all come down to enabling great choice of technology for enterprises.
No single technology supplier will ever meet all of your enterprise requirements. Every business uses a multi-vendor approach and the only way for this to be successful is to embrace an open approach whenever possible, so that diverse technologies can work together effectively and easily.
The history of IT is closely aligned with automation, from the early computers such as the Enigma Machine to the latest machine learning tools enabling use cases such as automated cancer diagnosis. All of these take tasks that a human can do, but by automating them, it allows people to focus upon higher value work.
If we look at networking, automation is at the heart of many recent trends such as SDN (i.e. automating network control) and NFV (i.e. automating the delivery of specific functions which used to be run on dedicated appliances).
But, automation is not the only essential within a network.
This morning while driving to work I started thinking about how Apple’s iPhone had captured the mobile market and displaced former leaders like Nokia and Blackberry. A similar analogy is how Netflix displaced top video rental stores like Blockbuster. Both these companies have one thing in common: their ability to innovate. How did they manage to innovate?
Innovation comes from within. When employees start thinking about strategic business problems and work to find ways in solving those problems, that’s when magic happens. If there’s something we can learn from history, it’s that we need to innovate to stay relevant. Digital Cohesion ushers in an era of innovation and possibilities. But to truly embrace it organizations need to ensure that their IT workforce is working on new things and not spending their time in just keeping lights on. How do you free your resources and encourage your IT workforce to innovate?