Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Look Back at 2014 and Innovation at Juniper Networks

As the year comes to an end it’s always interesting to look back at the changes in the industry and the progress that we made as a company in the last year. There were many trends that emerged or took further hold of the industry in 2014. Let’s take a look at them and see how Juniper delivered innovation in these areas. Cloud computing and the need for on-demand resources was a big one. The open source movement is continuing to grow in the cloud space and OpenStack and CloudStack are gaining momentum. The Dev/Ops movement and the need for automation of IT resources was another big trend in the news. We saw Dev/Ops extend to networking equipment like the top of rack switch, when it had previously been mainly for server configuration. Overlay networks took hold in 2014 with the likes of Juniper’s Contrail and VMware’s NSX gaining momentum. New network fabric architectures were introduced like IPClos that is popular with the MSDC’s or Massively Scalable Data Center Operators and Spine and Leaf architectures that offer simplified deployment and management. The rise of the Open Compute Project and its move to include networking was a bit of a surprise for me. There is certainly something going on there.

Openstack/Cloudstack Integration
Cloud computing is transforming the way business is done today. It’s not hard to see why when you consider all the benefits that the cloud promises such as flexibility, business agility and economies of scale. As you look into the underlying layers of compute, storage and network, there is complexity in managing such an infrastructure in a dynamic environment. Organizations that are building clouds need a platform to automate the deployment of infrastructure. In addition to offerings from commercial vendors this type of software stack is being developed by the user community of open source organizations. In the interests of being open and offering our customers choices Juniper announced support for OpenStack back in 2013. We continued this momentum by announcing support for CloudStack in 2014. For more on CloudStack see, CloudStack and Juniper’s MetaFabric, Enabling Private and Public Cloud.

Automation Integration with Puppet, Chef and Ansible
Juniper has always been about being open. We serve a diverse set of customers with different use cases who like to use different tool sets. Back in 2013 we announced support for Puppet. We kept up this momentum by later announcing support for Chef and then for Ansible in 2014. There are sysadmin using Puppet or Chef to manipulate infrastructure as code. Because we are open, we’ve productize the capability to work with these tools into both our hardware and software solutions. Ultimately this gives our customers greater flexibility, without having to do a costly rip and replace of their infrastructure, in choosing which automation tools to use. Of course Juniper has had on the box automation as a part of JUNOS for many years. For more on automation see, Automation with Chef, Puppet and Ansible.