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.
Cybersecurity makes headlines: records stolen, systems taken offline, data held to ransom, identities cloned; these are just some of the breaches that business is working hard to stay ahead of – we all read the headlines, no-one wants to BE the headlines.
How do you avoid becoming one of the headlines? As fast as you move, the bad guys can move faster. You need to monitor and protect every surface, they only need to focus on finding a single weak-spot. What can you do? Start with, and maintain your basics, 100% of the time.
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.