Sunday, October 28, 2012

OpenStack Summit San Diego 2012

The OpenStack Summit in San Diego was the place to be last week. I attended and wanted to share my observations. There was a lot of participation and energy. It was sold out with over 1300 people attending and about 35 vendors displaying their products.  Previous summits were developer forums. This time the format was expanded and there were hundreds of sessions in many categories including case studies, industry analysis as well as the usual develop sessions. See, for a list of the session.

What is Openstack and What Does it Do?
OpenStack ( is a foundation that manages an open source cloud computing platform. It was founded in 2010 out of a project that was started by NASA and RackSpace to build their cloud infrastructure. Their mission is “To produce the ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private cloud providers regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable.” OpenStack focuses on the core infrastructure for compute, storage, images and networking. There is a large ecosystem of vendors providing tools do the things that OpenStack does not do.

OpenStacks consists of modules to configure cloud computing resources. The components are the Nova Compute Service, Swift Storage Service, Glance Image Service and Quantum Network Service. They automate the functions that are required to set up these services. OpenStack lets organizations quickly provision and reprovision compute resources. Even with virtualization it can take days to fully set up a virtual server, networking and storage. Organizations want this to happen in minutes whether they are offering a commercial service or an internal IT service.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have We Hit The Network Breaking Point?

We have all noticed that the business environment is changing at a rapid pace. IT departments, previously seen as cost centers, were tasked with reducing their infrastructure and even justifying their existence, but not anymore. With the rise of just-in-time manufacturing, and long tail customization, all driven by ecommerce that’s increasingly accessed from mobile devices, the old rules are being turned upside down.  The IT organization is now tasked with enabling the business to drive innovation.

The Opportunity that Comes with Change
While change comes with opportunity, we know change isn’t always easy. The old ways of building infrastructure and networks are no longer working. Organizations need to adapt to a world where customers use social media and create huge amounts of data that contains business intelligence.  All of us have questions about what is happening in the IT space, what the challenges are and what do to about it. That is why Juniper got together with Forrester and did some research to help sort this all out.

It started in July 2012, when Juniper Networks commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate what enterprises need from a network in order to scale for business and meet future needs. Forrester Consulting surveyed 150 IT business decision-makers from enterprises across the United States, and yesterday the results were shared in a webinar. It was a conversation between Forrester Analyst Andre Kindness, Juniper’s CIO Bask Iyer and Mark Settle from BMC Software. I listened in and there was a lot to learn. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monetizing the Business Edge with Hosted Private Cloud

The last few years have seen major changes in enterprise networking, with the growth of MPLS virtual private networks (VPNs), and the rise in adoption of cloud services. A growing trend, which blends the two, is Hosted Cloud Services, delivered over MPLS VPNs from the service provider’s data center to the customer’s branch office locations. These services are facilitated and enhanced by Juniper’s combined routing and switching solutions as I discussed in my blog about the Junos Node Unifier.

Network Service Providers’ Opportunity with Cloud Services
NSPs are looking at new areas to boost revenue growth, and cloud computing is one of the key areas they are looking at. Based on research from STL Partner’s Telco 2.0 report, the Hosted Private Cloud market is expected to grow 34% annually to $6.5 billion by 2014. Since they already own the network, as well as the infrastructure around it including the billing and management systems, NSPs are in a good position to monetize the cloud opportunity. While the cloud services market is highly competitive, there is an opportunity for NSPs to differentiate their service offerings by leveraging their enterprise-grade VPN infrastructure to provide Hosted Private Cloud services with enhanced end-to-end security and service-level guarantees.

Public cloud services lack the SLA and QoS guarantee levels that enterprises have grown accustomed to with their VPN networks. Recent power outages associated with major public cloud service providers have impacted many popular sites and highlighted issues associated with reliance on public cloud services. As a result hosted private cloud services are emerging as a cost-effective and robust solution that offers quality and reliability for enterprise applications. Network service providers (NSPs) are embracing cloud services to grow new revenue streams and increase customer retention.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Innovating at the Edge in the Age of the Cloud

With the rise of Software as a Service and Social Media network service providers are witnessing a game changing shift in how consumer and business services and applications are delivered. Some service providers see the opportunity to break beyond their connection oriented business model and embrace these new cloud-based services. In order to do so they are looking for ways to adapt their networks to accommodate these new services.

Service Delivery on the Edge
In order to take advantage of the new business models brought about by the service transformation network service providers need to consider a number of factors, including adopting progressive business and monetization strategies and considering subscribers’ preferences in the service definition process. For the network service provider the most critical change is to leverage the underlying network architecture to support the new service offerings. As a result the traditional architecture of service provider edge networks is undergoing an aggressive period of evolution and shifting focus from simply a point of network connectivity to becoming a vital services creation and innovation point.

Subscriber Defined Services
Matching services and applications to customer expectations has always been a formidable challenge for telecom operators. However, it is now even more difficult given that the expectations of a telecom subscriber have changed drastically over the past few years. In the past consumer and business subscribers were tethered to the network services provider as their sole source of services, but today these subscribers have connections to OTT providers and access a variety of personal and business applications. An Important change is that these subscribers are not just service consumers, but they are also shaping service innovations by leveraging more intelligent and programmable platforms and devices.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Solving the Network Services Provisioning Challenge

Centralization of applications at large scale in a consolidated data center, and the increasing size of software-as-a-service application deployments, create the need to deploy thousands of 1GbE/10GbE ports to connect to servers and storage devices in the data center. Service providers need a way to terminate application servers without having to build layers of separately managed networking devices. They also need to be able to configure services from a central location and automate the provisioning of their network devices. This is driving the need for a device-based solution that can control thousands of network ports from a single point and that can interface with service orchestration systems.

The Services Provisioning Challenge
As service providers seek to deploy new cloud and network services at high scale, managing and maintaining individual network devices adds additional layers of operational complexity. As layers of network devices are added to the environment, service providers have to work with multiple management systems to provision, troubleshoot, and operate the devices. These additional layers may translate into additional points of failure or dependency reducing service performance. To meet this challenge Juniper Networks has released the Junos Node Unifier, a Junos OS platform clustering program that reduces complexity and increases deployment flexibility by centralizing management and automating configuration of switch ports attached to MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers acting as hubs. You can visit the landing page for the product launch here, link.

Simplifying the Network
The Junos Node Unifier enables scaling up of applications in the data center by supporting a low cost method to connect network devices to a central hub. It reduces equipment and cabling costs and increases deployment flexibility by centralizing management and automating device configuration, while overcoming chassis limitations to enable the connection of thousands of switch ports to be attached to the MX Series platform. The Junos Node Unifier solution leverages the MX Series modular chassis-based systems as well as access platforms including Juniper Networks QFX3500 QFabric Node, Juniper Networks EX4200 Ethernet Switch and EX3300 Ethernet Switch, to be used as hub and satellites respectively. Junos Node Unifier leverages the full feature set of these devices to support multiple connection types at optimal rates, with increased interface density as well as support for L2 switching and L3/MPLS routing on the access satellites.