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Building for the Next Billion: Q&A with Bask Iyer, Mark Settle and Mike Marcellin
Oct 16, 2012

Yesterday in partnership with Forrester Consulting, we released a new report, “Building For The Next Billion: What The New World Of Business Means For The Network”, which revealed how demands from big data, mobile and cloud computing have pushed networks to a breaking point. 


In addition to a blog post by Bask Iyer detailing the topline findings, we hosted a webinar with Forrester’s Andre Kindness, BMC Software’s Mark Settle, and Juniper’s Bask Iyer and Mike Marcellin, to discuss the implications of the research.  If you missed the event, you can listen to an on-demand replay here.  We also wanted to address some of the questions that came in from the community that we were not able to respond to during the event:   


1. Changing culture takes time, any tips on getting the business side of the house to think differently about IT?


MS: Any steps you can take to make IT more transparent in terms of where the organization is spending its time, how it is spending its money, how it is changing internally to respond to new business challenges (e.g. mobility, information security, etc.) will build credibility with your business partners.  IT leaders need to get out of IT conference rooms and spend more time with leaders in the business, so they can be perceived as real partners and not just service providers.


2. You mentioned the network can help your business be more competitive. Can you share examples?


MS: The network is the principal means of developing personal business relations within Internet-enabled businesses.  Whether it’s video chat, video streaming, page fill times, screen response rates, etc. the end user experience that the network enables can extend product and service offerings to new types of customers and new geographies.


3. What do you mean by scaling to the next billion?


MM: For some businesses, their data center is responsible for billions of dollars of transactions.  But for most, it’s about billions of bits flowing over the network, billions of pieces of data about their business, and billions of transactions of all kinds flowing over the network.  You must ensure you have the right network architecture to support this level of scale and, more importantly, the business agility you need to win in the market.


4. What did you consider when thinking about scaling Juniper’s network to a billion?


MM: Juniper has always been a leader in delivering high scale, high quality networks.  As we think about the enterprise infrastructure, it’s more than just speeds and feeds though.  It’s about an infrastructure that is easy to implement, easy to manage, agile in operation, and bulletproof in performance.  We have rethought the data center architecture – from switching fabrics to physical and virtual security.  We have unified policy and control under one portfolio for the campus and branch environment.  And our underlying networking operating system, Junos, is a unifying language to ensure that the network is easy to manage, works together functionally, and has the ability to be highly automated.


BI: We needed to re–imagine our applications and infrastructure in 3 key areas:

  • In the application space, we are undergoing a transformation process within the company that replaces over 200 applications into one standardized platform. This project, championed by the CEO, looks at end-to-end processes and standardizes and simplifies them all into this platform. The goal is to innovate when it is critical to customers and standardize the rest.
  • We adopted a “why not cloud?” strategy and are in the process of collapsing our various data centers and migrating most of our applications to the cloud.
  • We also had to look at our end user computing environment including BYOD, rich media collaboration and mobile enablement.


As a critical step to make it all these three happen, we had to re-architect our network architecture. We launched a “Juniper on Juniper” program to deploy the foundation that can enable the growth to the next billion.


5. How do I prevent my network from reaching a breaking point?


MS: You need to stop thinking about incremental improvements or ‘band-aid’ solutions to current problems and think more strategically about the scale and nature of the business you will be supporting in the future. You also need to look around at how your competitors are interfacing with customers and challenge yourself to determine if you are ready to offer similar services in the future to either current or future customers.


To learn more about the capabilities of today’s network and what it will take to scale for the future, you can read the full results of the Juniper-commissioned study by Forrester Consulting here.  Please let us know if you have additional questions in the comments section below.