Through a Strategic Lens

Big-Vs-Small.jpgSo I have popped in and out of the Juniper blogging community on occasion over the last couple of months, taking a moment to talk about Nicira and the rise of overlays in the SDN world or to talk about our relationship with the FreeBSD community. Over the coming days, weeks, months, and quarters, I am going to increase that frequency a bit and try to share thoughts and perspectives from where I sit in Juniper.


Now let me be clear here - I have no intention of replicating any of the number of strong technology blogs that already exist. I frequent places like PacketPushers and ipSpace, and I don't think I add much by trying to dive into technology from a technology perspective. That is not to say that we won't get into technology, but rather that the lens through which I tend to look is more of a strategic lens. So the topics might be the similar, but the frame will be different.


My intention in doing this is not to parrot some corporate line about this technology or that solution; I'd rather give a more unfiltered view. And while I cannot always reveal the entire seedy underbelly of vendor life, I can at least give an authentic view into how I think about things.


So how exactly do I think about things?


To answer that, I need to give you a little bit of background. I have had a long tenure at Juniper (more than 11 years), but most people know me as the One Junos guy (I was the guy who first coined the One Junos message). These days, I lead a hybrid strategy-product management team where I focus on cross-portfolio, strategic initiatives (code for "new stuff without an owner"). There are a lot of examples, but the best one is software-defined networking (SDN). Yep, my team has been engaged in Juniper's SDN strategy - for more than 2 years now.


Now let me connect this back to the beginning. The technologies and trends are typically well-covered, but exactly how we view those technologies from a strategic perspective seems like fertile ground. It's all well and good to say that SDN is important or that it is all hype, but how do vendors really think about it? Are we secretly meeting to discuss how to avoid commoditization? Or with the whole IETF/ITU-T battle over Internet governance, what is really at stake?


These are the kinds of things I want to spend time writing about. I'll try to describe different strategic frameworks and reference good books to help people get grounded. I can't promise to teach new technologies, but I think I can at least frame up a different way of looking at them.


With that said, let me close with a final thought here. I basically type how I talk. This is meant to be more open dialog than heavily-edited documentation. So feel free to engage, and if a public forum isn't quite right, go ahead and drop me a line.


Mike Bushong



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