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Beauty Within: Reinventing Software Development at Juniper Networks

by Juniper Employee ‎12-12-2016 10:15 AM - edited ‎12-12-2016 02:28 PM

“Be good on the inside.”


My parents repeatedly hammered this life “code” into me since I was young. Am I good on the inside? Not nearly enough, but I try relentlessly to be. To this day, that statement guides me. In fact, I’ve committed to teaching this to my own children, as well.


The idea is that goodness on the inside allows you to execute genuine goodness on the outside. It can apply to the spiritual, physical, or mental aspects of life. Be kind. Exercise. Eat healthy. Learn more. Think positively. The list can be endless.


As it turns out, I eventually found myself applying this rule to organizations, too. At Juniper, it has driven our approach to engineering for the last several years. We must constantly question the status quo, not just with respect to our competitors and our industry, but especially our own “insides.” How can we strengthen our culture? Are we organized optimally? Are our routines and processes designed more for our own comfort or more for our customers’ benefit? Are we good on the inside?


How you do things matters just as much as what you build. If you look internally and see acceptance of the ordinary, apathy, or stagnation, it’s only a matter of time for it to reflect in your products and value. So, when we decided to proactively redefine how we build software at Juniper, it was a major initiative, but not uncharacteristic. After all, it makes us better on the inside.


Our codename for this project is Software Studio 3.0. I have often been told that people don’t think of Juniper as a software company. They are always surprised to hear that the opposite is actually true. Over 80% of the engineers at Juniper work on software. Software has been a cornerstone of our value for over 20 years.


Obviously, we cannot build software with the same technology and processes as we did 20 years ago. A high-performance athlete like Cristiano Ronaldo trains much differently today than Diego Maradona and Pelé did in the past. Can you imagine using Windows 95 on your laptop today?


Yes, the world is more dynamic and more accelerated than ever before. We see it when we wake up. We feel it at the end of the day. In terms of our data and our network connectivity, it can be even more extreme. Everything is going to the cloud. DevOps and rapid iteration are the new normal. As a trusted networking partner, Juniper is committed to this journey with our customers through this new reality and mode of operation.


However, this new mode of operation required that we do things differently. Throughout our history, we have had two big shifts in our software model. Software Studio 3.0 is the third. This most recent shift, however, was our boldest and most substantial. Here is a small peek into some of the things we did with Software Studio 3.0.


We virtualized development and testing equipment and put it in the cloud.


We use our own virtualized products (e.g. vMX or vSRX) as development and testing platforms. This eliminates logistical obstacles (e.g. rack space, availability, wiring) associated with hardware that could slow us down.


Virtualized platforms in our private cloud can elastically expand, contract, or be reassigned with a click of a mouse. We increase resource utilization and save oodles of time. For example, if a 100 node network is required to test a new feature, an engineer could build it in minutes.


Ultimately, this means more high-quality features delivered more quickly.


We automated all testing.


No code is submitted without an accompanying automated test procedure. The code is vigorously spot tested upon submission using automation and avoids the heavy overhead of full regression tests that can delay release times by months. The developer, who is intimately involved with the code, addresses quality issues in the moment. It could previously take more than a week to simply understand regression needs. Now, information is given back to the developer within 24 hours.


As a result, we are able to make more code changes more frequently with more confidence. Instead of traditionally releasing software 2-3 times a year, we can now fast-iterate ‘micro’ releases to co-create new functionality with customers. As an example, this past year we delivered over 100 software releases to a top-tier service provider - at their request - so they could test just as quickly as new software was developed.


We expect to see more intimate co-creation like this, higher customer satisfaction, and lower volumes of support calls to our JTAC as we expect the number of defects to be reduced through our process.


We collapsed all development into a single branch.


The simplicity of “one JunOS” becomes even more powerful. Without virtualization and automation of software development, the status quo continued by many of our competitors is to build “special trains” to customize features or to address specific defects for customers and meet time-to-market. For some of these competitors, it is not unusual to have well over twenty variations of software in release.


Obviously, that legacy practice becomes very inefficient, very quickly. Development slows as resources are diffused. Lots of work gets repeated in different places. Support becomes a costly nightmare. With Software Studio 3.0, Juniper can simplify all development into a single branch.


Our Software Studio 3.0 journey has been challenging. Thousands of engineers have had to change old habits and old ways. Not everyone was happy about it initially. But striving to be good on the inside takes work. Physical, mental, or spiritual fitness is a commitment. But in my humble opinion, it is worth all of it - every drop of "blood, sweat, and tears" shed along the way. Juniper will be better for it. Our customers will be better for it. It is early, but the outcomes we have seen already are very positive.


As the old saying goes, “beauty begins from within,” and I sincerely believe the same goes for software, as well.


Twitter: @jonathandavidsn



by Juniper Employee
on ‎12-13-2016 04:10 AM

And also to add the APIzation of Junos. Every component exposes APIs and APIs are the only form of communication.

by Juniper Employee
on ‎12-20-2016 08:53 PM

Well said: "goodness on the inside allows you to execute genuine goodness on the outside. It can apply to the spiritual, physical, or mental aspects of life. Be kind. Exercise. Eat healthy. Learn more. Think positively."

Very happy to hear this today Smiley Happy

Juniper Networks Technical Books
About the Author
  • Prior to Juniper acquisition, Ankur was the Founder and CEO of Contrail Systems Inc - a pioneer in standards based network virtualization and scale-out networking software. Ankur has over 15 years of experience in building world-class networking products and leading high performance teams. Prior to Contrail, Ankur served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering at Aruba Networks, where he played critical roles in the rapid expansion of team, products, and global businesses. Before Aruba, Ankur helped drive Juniper’s initial entry into and expansion of the Ethernet Switching market. Ankur received his MSEE from Stanford University & BSEE from the University of Southern California.
  • I am an experienced leader in the Information Experience (iX) industry. For over 20 years, I've led information organizations at Juniper, Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle to deliver quality technical documentation and information products to customers and partners across the globe.
  • Bob Dix currently serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs & Critical Infrastructure Protection for Juniper Networks. During his career, he has served in senior leadership roles in industry and government, including serving as Staff Director for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census during the 108th Congress. He represents Juniper on the Industry Executive Point of Contact for the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee ( NSTAC ), where he chaired the Cybersecurity Collaboration Task Force in 2009. He served as Chair of the Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council ( IT SCC ) from 2008 – 2010 and currently remains a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Dix was elected in May, 2011 as Chair of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security ( PCIS ). He also serves on the National Security Task Force for the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the AFCEA Cyber Security Committee and Chairs the Supply Chain Assurance Subcommittee for TechAmerica. Additionally, Dix has actively worked to insure and coordinate private sector participation and collaboration with the National Exercise Program, intended to test our nation’s preparedness and resiliency. He served as Chair of the National Private Sector Working Group for National Level Exercise 2011 and 2010. In 2007 and 2009, Dix was honored with a prestigious Federal 100 Award, and was recognized in March, 2010 as the recipient of the annual FCW Industry Eagle Award. Dix also served as a local government elected official in Northern Virginia for 12 years and in his spare time coaches AAU/Travel girls basketball.
  • Jennifer Blatnik is vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks with focus on enterprise deployments of security, routing, switching, and SDN products, as well as cloud solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises solve network security challenges. Before joining Juniper, Jennifer served multiple roles at Cisco Systems, Inc., including directing product management for security technologies aimed at small to medium enterprises, as well as supporting managed services, cloud service architectures and go-to-market strategies. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
  • Jerry oversees all aspects of OpenLab which serves as a catalyst to spark the development of new innovative software applications or solutions that leverage the power of SDN/network programmability and intelligence. OpenLab is unique within Juniper and with its polished facility, globally accessible lab, and educational programs – such as the SDN “hackathons,” it serves as a tool for customer, partners, and academia. Prior to this position, Jerry led the development, management and marketing of the company’s strategic partnerships for video/unified communications, optical networking, and content/media delivery. In addition to handling the day-to-day oversight of the partnerships, he established new cross-partner go-to-market processes to drive and manage joint field opportunities. Before joining Juniper, Jerry led the Lucent Technologies application hosting/service provider marketing organization. He has over 25 years of experience in the data networking field with a focus on strategic alliance development, marketing, and technical field support. Jerry possesses a BS degree in Computer Science from St. John’s University in New York. He is active as a Juniper ambassador within the technology and academic community which includes advisory board positions with both NJIT and Rutgers in New Jersey.
  • Kevin Walker is the Security Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Juniper’s Development and Innovation (JDI) organization. He is responsible for driving the security strategy both internally within Juniper, and externally with investors, partners, influencers, and customers. He provides the guidance required for JDI to conceive, develop and create momentum for industry-leading security solutions. Working closely with the Security Engineering team, Walker identifies the opportunities for improved security, growth, and innovation to deliver the scalable, reliable, and compliant security architecture needed in today’s security landscape. Before joining Juniper, Walker was VP and Assistant Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at He has served as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Security Strategist and Director of Information Security across a number of notable companies including Intuit, Cisco, Symantec and VERITAS Software. With over twenty-five years in various computer science and information technology disciplines, focusing on enterprise applications, network design, and information security, Walker possesses research and engineering expertise across of range of technologies including networking protocols, securing applications at the atomic level, cryptography, and speech biometrics.
  • As Juniper’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Line Management, Kevin Hutchins is responsible for defining and enabling Juniper’s strategy from company vision into product execution. This includes driving the company’s inorganic growth through strategic partnerships, venture investments and acquisitions/divestitures. In addition, he is responsible for driving key strategic imperatives, including Juniper’s software strategy and transformation. Hutchins joined Juniper in 2010 as Vice President, Portfolio Management & Business Operations for Juniper’s Development & Innovation team where he led business planning, portfolio rationalization, new product introduction and execution of strategic programs across Juniper’s portfolio of routing, switching and security products.
  • Mike Marcellin is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing team responsible for marketing Juniper’s product and services portfolio and stewarding the brand, driving preference for Juniper in the market, training our partners and account teams, and developing a differentiated information experience for our customers. Before joining the global marketing organization, Marcellin led business strategy and marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading portfolio of high-performance routing, switching and security products. Prior to joining Juniper in 2010, Marcellin served as Vice President of Global Managed Solutions for Verizon, where he oversaw product development and marketing of its managed IP networking, hosting, security and IT solutions for businesses around the world. He also served as Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Verizon Business, executive director of Verizon Business’ IP and Ethernet portfolio as well as leading the company’s eCRM marketing division. Marcellin began his career with MCI in 1994. Marcellin is a Board Member for the Telecommunications Industry Association and a Board Member of US Ignite, an NSF-sponsored initiative. Marcellin holds two patents and was a Rodman Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree with distinction in systems engineering. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Masum Mir is Vice President of Product, Solutions & Technical Marketing at Juniper Networks. Masum is responsible for the Switching product line, network management product line and optical technologies. Beside product leadership Masum also leads cloud strategy and solution architecture. Masum has 19 years of experience in communication and data networking industry with Expertise in Ethernet Switching, Data Center, Carrier Ethernet, Routing, overlay & network segmentation, Fabric technology & photonics technology.
  • Paul Obsitnik is Vice President of Service Provider Marketing for Juniper Networks Platform Systems Division (PSD), responsible for the marketing of Juniper’s portfolio of high performance routing, switching, and data center fabric products to Service Providers globally. Paul's team is responsible for marketing strategy, product marketing, go-to-market planning, and competitive analysis worldwide for the Service Provider segment. Obsitnik has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development positions with a proven track record in creating technology markets. He has served in senior marketing and sales management positions at several companies including BridgeWave Communications, ONI Systems, NorthPoint Communications and 3Com. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Obsitnik is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Pradeep Sindhu founded Juniper Networks in February 1996, and has held several central roles in shaping the company. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, and is responsible for the company's technical roadmap as well as day-to-day design and development of future products. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for eight months when he founded the company. During that time, he played a central role in the architecture, design, and development of the M40 router.
  • Rami Rahim is Chief Executive Officer of Juniper Networks and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Rahim was appointed CEO in November 2014. Rahim began his Juniper career in early 1997, as employee No. 32, and worked as an engineer on Juniper’s first breakthrough product, the M40 core router. Rahim has progressed through a series of technical and leadership roles at Juniper, applying his engineering acumen to the design and development of Juniper’s industry-leading product portfolio. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Juniper Development and Innovation (JDI) organization, overseeing the company’s entire product and technology portfolio. His responsibilities included driving strategy, development and business growth for routing, switching, security, silicon technology, and the Junos operating system. Other leadership positions held over the years include: Executive Vice President and General Manager of Platform Systems Division for routing and switching, Senior Vice President of the Edge and Aggregation Business Unit (EABU), and Vice President and General Manager of EABU.
  • As Chief Customer Officer, Vince Molinaro is responsible for driving the strategic and operational elements of the Sales, Marketing, Partners, Services and Support functions at Juniper Networks. He leads a global organization of more than 3,500 professionals that includes direct and indirect sales, systems engineering, advanced technologies and field operations. Molinaro brings more than 25 years of professional experience in engineering, product management, marketing, sales and operations to his worldwide role. He joined Juniper in 2009 and led the strategy and go-to-market execution for the company’s global service provider business. He was named EVP, Worldwide Sales in 2013 before assuming his current role in February 2014. Prior to joining Juniper, Molinaro held senior leadership positions at a number of technology companies including Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and Internap Network Services. He has extensive domestic and international experience having lived and managed large organizations throughout Europe and the U.S. Molinaro holds a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from University of Bridgeport. He is based out of the Juniper Networks facility in New Jersey, home of OpenLab, The Junos and SDN Center for Innovation.
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