Ray Mota, ACG Research

ACG HotSeat: Juniper Networks Sr. Director Ben Baker

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Photo of Ben Baker, Sr Director of Cloud Solutions Marketing, Juniper Networks as he speaks about the Cloud Economics Assessment model.

Cloud vs. datacenter: Which is best for your business?

Juniper’s Ben Baker says that deciding where to run your applications and IT workload is “one of the existential business questions of our time.” Listen here to discover how Juniper works with customers all over the world to tackle this challenge.

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You’ll learn

  • Why cloud calculators are unreliable 

  • About the Cloud Economics Assessment Model project and the driving force behind it 

  • The factors (including non-cost) that should be considered when making this decision for your organization

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Ray Mota Headshot
Ray Mota
ACG Research 

Guest speakers

Ben Baker
Ben Baker
Sr Director of Cloud Solutions Marketing, Juniper Networks


0:00 [Music]

0:05 hello

0:05 this is ray motor from acg and welcome

0:08 to this edition of the hot sea

0:10 joining me today is ben baker from

0:11 juniper bend thanks for joining the hot

0:13 seat

0:13 thanks right good to see you and excited

0:15 to talk about this project

0:17 excellent excellent now maybe before we

0:19 get started could you tell our audience

0:21 a little bit about

0:22 what you do with uh juniper currently

0:24 today

0:25 hey i'm the senior director of cloud

0:27 solutions marketing

0:29 excellent now some time ago there was a

0:32 project that was involved you know

0:34 related to

0:35 uh cloud economics assessment model what

0:38 is the motivation behind this project

0:40 yeah i think it's one of the existential

0:43 business

0:44 questions of our time right it's you

0:45 know where do i run my applications in

0:48 my it workloads in in a public cloud or

0:51 my own data center

0:52 and virtually every company in the world

0:55 wrestles with this question you know

0:56 whether it's a company that we might put

0:58 a label on as

0:59 an enterprise or a cloud service

1:01 provider or a communication service

1:03 provider

1:04 every company out there is is running

1:06 software somewhere

1:08 so we've been working with our customers

1:10 over the world

1:11 for years to tackle this question then

1:13 you know i hear it all the time from

1:15 customers directly

1:16 hear it from our account teams non-stop

1:19 now you know the economics of

1:22 public private and hybrid clouds is

1:25 complicated

1:26 it's hard and we've found that it's not

1:28 broadly

1:29 well understood and you know there are

1:32 other

1:33 out there let's call them cloud

1:34 calculators um you know you can search

1:36 for the web right now and find them

1:38 but these are way too simplistic and

1:40 they're they're blunt

1:41 tools and you know they're just not

1:43 going to give you the insight that you

1:45 really need to make good decisions and

1:46 then

1:47 of course the public cloud providers

1:49 have cloud calculators too but

1:51 we found that people don't necessarily

1:53 trust these and

1:55 also again they don't have the

1:56 granularity and you know you can't look

1:58 under the hood of those models and

2:00 really understand the calculations um

2:03 so companies are making big time

2:06 strategic decisions that can

2:08 fundamentally affect the economics of

2:10 their business for years to come

2:12 and they're doing this with incomplete

2:13 information you know without sufficient

2:15 rigor behind the decision

2:17 and this is why we came to you guys this

2:19 is why we came to acg last year and said

2:22 we need to solve this problem hey help

2:24 us build a model for this

2:25 yeah no that's a good point because it's

2:28 it's interesting because sometimes some

2:29 of these trivial

2:31 roi calculators just isn't enough to

2:34 make a decision yet you're making

2:36 millions or in some cases billions of

2:37 dollar decision

2:39 without having some of the macro level

2:42 the major disconnect there

2:44 so so that being said what is the cloud

2:46 economics assessment model

2:49 yeah we call it uh you know as you say

2:50 the cloud economics assessment model or

2:53 cloud workload decision model and you

2:55 know to be really specific

2:56 it's a detailed total cost of ownership

2:59 model in excel

3:00 um it it compares the monthly expenses

3:02 of

3:04 10 different application areas if you

3:06 run these apps on

3:08 aws versus azure versus your own data

3:11 center

3:11 or any combination the model is very

3:14 comprehensive

3:16 it includes every cost imaginable you

3:18 guys did a great job with this

3:20 we've tested the model with a variety of

3:22 smes

3:23 and you know you might say well wait a

3:25 second if it's comparing monthly

3:26 expenses then

3:28 it doesn't include the capex that you

3:30 might need for your own data center um

3:32 but it actually does include capex and

3:35 you know we make

3:36 all costs variable so you can do that

3:39 side-by-side comparison between data

3:42 center

3:42 infrastructure you own and whether

3:44 that's on premises

3:46 or a few racks that you have in some

3:48 colo you know

3:49 versus a public cloud which of course is

3:52 is all opex and

3:53 all of a variable cost and you know of

3:56 course there are some things that you

3:58 just can't model

3:59 like security and compliance and

4:01 regulations

4:03 and some companies out there may for

4:05 example just want more control over

4:07 their it's

4:08 so there are some i guess non-cost

4:10 factors that go into this decision but

4:13 we think the model strikes a great

4:16 balance of having

4:17 an incredible amount of granularity and

4:20 flexibility

4:21 but you know shielding that complexity

4:23 from the user of the model

4:25 so you know it has literally hundreds of

4:28 knobs and dials that you can turn and

4:30 change the input variables but at the

4:32 same time

4:33 we do have well thought out default

4:35 values for for everything also

4:37 yeah that's great to have default values

4:40 so that people have a baseline

4:42 of of where to start with i remember

4:44 peter federoff working on this

4:46 uh and he was going over some of the

4:48 results and the complexity of the work

4:51 behind the scenes and this but um but

4:54 based on your experience and some of the

4:55 things you saw what are some of the

4:58 results or how would you interpret

5:00 some of the outcomes from those models

5:01 there

5:04 yeah at a high level the answer is the

5:07 multi-cloud

5:08 you know the optimal place to run some

5:10 applications

5:11 is public cloud other applications in

5:14 your own data center

5:15 the private cloud and and the model

5:17 shows for example that you can save

5:18 up to 90 if you take this hybrid

5:21 approach

5:22 versus if you just put everything in in

5:24 the public cloud

5:25 right and you know so so everyone knows

5:28 that you use public cloud for speed and

5:30 flexibility right well

5:32 well you know well kind of i mean public

5:34 cloud is is very useful for bursts

5:36 so flexibility and agility you know

5:39 particularly in the context of short

5:42 time horizons so you know let's say a

5:45 pandemic hits

5:46 right you know just just hypothetically

5:47 of course and you know the demand for

5:49 your

5:50 video conferencing app goes through the

5:52 roof you know

5:53 you can really quickly ramp up on public

5:56 cloud

5:56 um but it would take you longer to

5:59 install your own

6:00 dc infrastructure so public cloud for

6:02 bursts

6:03 and then your own dc for you know

6:06 long-term

6:07 sustain sustainable growth and scale and

6:10 efficiency

6:12 um now going back to the model uh you

6:15 know in terms of

6:16 different applications so in general you

6:19 want to use

6:20 public clouds for apps that have modest

6:23 compute

6:23 memory and network requirements like web

6:26 servers

6:27 development environments some testing

6:29 environments

6:30 low priority business apps or apps that

6:34 only require

6:35 intermittent access to compute resources

6:38 you know so the compute resources would

6:39 be idle

6:40 for a large percentage of the time uh

6:42 also

6:43 for public cloud it fits applications

6:46 that run in batch mode

6:48 and can be scheduled um applications

6:51 that you could run

6:53 at very flexible times so these apps

6:55 could use spot instances

6:57 and aws and azure with spot instances

7:00 they're essentially

7:02 spare capacity that uh they price very

7:04 very cheaply

7:06 now on the other side uh the apps and

7:09 use cases where a privately owned data

7:12 center makes sense

7:13 are use cases where you have high

7:15 network traffic

7:16 so nfv you know vnf's virtual network

7:19 functions

7:20 uh gaming um video you know as long as

7:23 it's not pushed out to the edge

7:26 so the model shows that applications

7:28 with

7:29 large data transfer requirements can be

7:32 up to 10 times more

7:34 expensive on public cloud um

7:37 some other apps that uh make sense to

7:40 run

7:40 in your private dc apps with

7:43 non-traditional

7:44 compute requirements like ai ml

7:46 workloads on gpus

7:48 so gpu instances very expensive on

7:52 public cloud

7:53 uh and then finally use cases that have

7:55 consistently high compute requirements

7:58 you know the business case for these

7:59 types of use cases

8:00 is going to point you to investing in

8:02 your your own data center so

8:04 you know i i went through a bunch of

8:07 general statements there about the

8:08 results but the important point is that

8:10 we

8:11 tweak the model for a customer's

8:12 specific environment

8:14 to give you detailed quantitative

8:15 answers yeah no i actually i think you

8:17 did a good job of explaining not that

8:20 people should get rid of public cloud is

8:21 that there's a need and a fit

8:23 and understand those inflection points

8:26 based on your capacity demand because it

8:28 impacts a tremendous amount

8:30 of the economics with that so so that

8:33 being said is uh where do people go

8:35 and how do people find out more about

8:38 this

8:40 uh yeah so one of the first things i do

8:41 is uh you know i'd recommend that you

8:43 read the white paper

8:44 that you that acg has written um okay

8:46 you should be able to find this

8:48 juniper acg cloud economics white paper

8:51 and it should pop up

8:52 and this paper should reinforce

8:55 everything that we've talked about here

8:57 um and and then usually the best thing

8:59 to do is

9:00 contact your juniper account manager and

9:02 we can start the conversation

9:04 and you know ultimately what you want to

9:06 have happen with a model like this

9:08 is that we work closely with you to

9:11 customize the model for your own

9:12 environment

9:13 because the answer is always some form

9:15 of it depends right

9:17 and so we sit down with you yeah you

9:20 know um

9:22 it wouldn't it be simple if we just said

9:23 it depends and walk away

9:25 the answer is it depends and we have a

9:27 model so

9:28 you know so we sit down with you uh

9:30 virtually of course

9:32 go through the model look at the

9:34 assumptions uh we say hey we think

9:36 xyz and you say okay yeah we

9:40 we agree let's run the model or you say

9:42 no

9:43 you know our web server infrastructure

9:45 we use more vm resources than you're

9:47 saying or

9:48 or less and then we you know make the

9:49 changes and you just go down through the

9:52 assumptions and the inputs

9:53 for all the applications and the

9:56 infrastructure and

9:57 and hey maybe we we changed some of the

9:58 underlying calculations too if

10:01 we think that's best and the end goal

10:04 here is that

10:05 you eventually come up with a really

10:07 sound game plan for your business that

10:09 has

10:09 discipline and formality and analytical

10:12 rigor behind it and

10:14 you know now you is one of the people

10:16 responsible at your company for making

10:18 these decisions

10:19 you have the confidence and and you have

10:21 the information necessary to execute

10:24 on that question that we started off

10:25 with and you know it's when do i use

10:27 public cloud and

10:28 when do i use my own private data center

10:30 infrastructure yeah

10:32 no excellent excellent well ben you're

10:34 officially off the hot seat

10:35 thanks for joining all right thanks ray

10:38 yeah well

10:39 with ben i'd like to thank everyone for

10:41 joining

10:42 take care bye-bye

10:46 [Music]

10:48 you

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