Mike Bushong, Group VP, Cloud-Ready Data Center, Juniper Networks

The Cloud-Ready Data Center

AI & MLAI in Action 23
Mike Bushong, Group VP, Cloud-Ready Data Center, Juniper Networks
Mike Bushong, Juniper’s GVP of Cloud-Ready Data Center, speaking on stage at the AI in Action event.

Whether you work in the data center or just work alongside other teams that do, it’s time to challenge the status quo. Demand more from your data center with Juniper Networks. Hear from Juniper’s GVP of Cloud-Ready Data Center, Mike Bushong, at AI in Action 2023.


2:05 Juniper’s Data Center Business Growth

3:25 Cisco’s Customers Struggle with Complexity 

5:20 Changes in the Network Engineering Workforce

7:40 The Network Automation Journey 

9:02 The Experience-First Data Center

15:16 The Proven Business Case of Juniper Apstra 

17:45 Intent-Based Networking & AI

18:58 Demanding More from Your Network

Show more

You’ll learn

  • What to expect from the transformation in the industry

Who is this for?

Business Leaders Network Professionals


Mike Bushong, Group VP, Cloud-Ready Data Center, Juniper Networks
Mike Bushong
Group VP, Cloud-Ready Data Center, Juniper Networks



0:00 [Music]

0:10 thank you

0:13 so following Sadir is always an

0:15 experience I feel a little bit uh

0:18 marketing kind of didn't set me up right

0:20 they said business casual Studio doesn't

0:22 even have shoes on

0:24 um so we'll just

0:25 kick the shoes off does that give you

0:28 more technical street cred with this

0:29 audience I got to go sockless I will

0:31 it's a little gross

0:33 um my name is Mike bushong I I run the

0:36 data center business here at Juniper

0:37 Networks we talk a lot about AI in

0:39 action we've talked a lot about the

0:41 campus we've talked a lot about the

0:43 branch we just got into the wired side

0:45 it's not AI in campus it's AI in action

0:48 we've got to carry that over to the data

0:49 center I want to talk a bit about how we

0:52 do that

0:54 so

0:55 it's language we've always done it that

0:57 way is it's some of the most pernicious

0:59 language in it organizations anywhere on

1:02 the planet right every time you want to

1:04 go and make some change right we know

1:05 that technology is not stagnant it

1:07 doesn't move at the pace of whoever the

1:09 incumbent is things come along now and

1:11 again a little bit like X-Men style a

1:13 mutation comes in and then leaps us

1:15 forward a couple of years

1:16 when that happens collectively and as

1:19 individuals we have to have the courage

1:21 to do something different now many of

1:23 you are using myths today

1:24 and in that missed decision you took a

1:27 risk you said I'm going to try something

1:29 that's new and that's not just company

1:31 risk that's personal reputational risk

1:34 now there's a saying in our industry

1:36 right no one gets fired for buying IBM

1:39 in the networking space it gets a little

1:40 bit grosser no one gets fired for buying

1:42 Cisco but I'll tell you what you don't

1:44 get promoted for buying Cisco either

1:46 we've got to have the ability to go and

1:49 make change what I want to do is argue

1:51 the case for why what we're doing in the

1:53 campus side and how we're transforming

1:55 with AI

1:56 is going to carry its way into the data

1:58 center so if you like what you see on

2:00 the campus then you have to have a

2:02 conversation with juniper about data

2:03 center

Juniper’s Data Center Business Growth

2:05 now we have a data center portfolio that

2:07 Services the service provider space

2:09 we've got customers in the cloud space

2:11 we've got the Enterprise covered and

2:13 these you know we feature the largest

2:16 companies across the globe in all each

2:18 of these markets

2:20 now that portfolio it's based on

2:22 primarily broadcom silicon the takeaway

2:25 here is if you're familiar with like

2:27 switches and common form factors just

2:29 presume that we have a familiar form

2:31 factor that does what you need

2:34 but of course data centers aren't made

2:35 with switches they're made with Fabrics

2:37 they include things like management and

2:39 operations and so from that Foundation

2:41 we've built software on top that allows

2:44 us to change the way operations happens

2:46 in Data Center

2:49 we acquired a company a couple years ago

2:51 called appstra and in the same way that

2:53 mist has transformed the wireless space

2:55 and what we're doing in the campus side

2:57 abstra has transformed what we're doing

2:59 on the data center side you see the

3:01 numbers here we've doubled our data

3:03 center business in the last two years

3:04 now if you're sitting there who cares

3:06 about whether we've doubled the business

3:07 that's a great Juniper thing what it

3:09 signals is that something is going on

3:12 there is a change that is afoot and that

3:15 change means that there is a better way

3:17 of doing things and people are betting

3:19 with their wallets to take advantage of

3:20 it

3:22 now there's another event that's going

3:23 on right now right there's like a Cisco

Cisco’s Customers Struggle with Complexity

3:25 live or something everyone's afraid to

3:26 say the Cisco word for some reason I

3:28 didn't get the memo Cisco there was

3:30 column so Cisco's market share this is

3:33 what negative seven percent keger looks

3:35 like

3:35 don't mention this because I want to

3:37 take take shots at Cisco's market share

3:39 the point is that it isn't the market

3:41 Rose and so Juniper doubled our business

3:43 because you know a rising tide floats

3:45 all boats now there's a sinking ship

3:48 and as they go down what this means is

3:50 that people are transitioning from

3:52 incumbent ways of doing things and the

3:54 reason they're doing that isn't to eke

3:56 out incremental advantages in pricing

3:59 but we've talked about all day today

4:02 this is about fundamentally changing

4:04 what the point of interaction is and

4:06 what's your what you're capable of from

4:08 an operations perspective

4:10 and that same transformation it's

4:11 happening on the data center side

4:13 and frankly Cisco's loss is our gain

4:16 so why is that happening

4:19 look I'll be honest all right Cisco's

4:21 gone through some execution challenges I

4:23 don't think we have to pick on that in

4:25 2013 they talked about ACI ACI was

4:28 actually and I'll be honest I was like

4:30 at an sdn company I was there because I

4:32 was going to make sdn millions I drive a

4:34 Hyundai it didn't work out

4:36 um

4:37 yeah it's too soon it still hurts my

4:39 wife is pissed

4:41 um

4:42 moment of silence hold on

4:47 stings

4:48 um

4:49 when I saw ACI the idea that you could

4:52 converge operations around applications

4:53 in data center that's actually a

4:55 profound thing to go do they were trying

4:57 to make a difference in the operations

4:58 side the challenge

5:00 was that the solution fell over under

5:02 the complexity that they were

5:03 introducing to make it work

5:05 a bunch of people went out and bought a

5:07 bunch of Nexus switches tried to deploy

5:09 ACI and they said it doesn't quite work

5:10 that way

5:12 here's a Professional Services contract

5:15 see how that works

5:16 no it's not free we'll charge you for

5:18 that every year

5:19 and so the the as that fell over then

Changes in the Network Engineering Workforce

5:22 certainly Cisco was going to have

5:24 challenges but if we think that the

5:26 transformation that is going on in the

5:27 industry is limited to execution

5:29 challenges I don't think we're doing the

5:30 industry Justice

5:32 and frankly since I have a bunch of

5:33 friends at Cisco so I make fun of a

5:35 little bit but it's a bunch of smart

5:36 people that work there they're not dumb

5:38 it's not purely an execution challenge

5:40 the bigger issue the Strategic issue

5:42 that is at its core is a change in the

5:44 workforce altogether

5:46 now take Network Engineers right I'm not

5:49 a network engineer but I used to be a

5:50 trainer so I guess I'm kind of close

5:52 Network Engineers sort of entered the

5:54 market in what like mid 90s early 2000s

5:56 as the internet stuff was going on

5:58 if we're being honest Network Engineers

6:01 we're kind of Aging out a little bit

6:03 right not not me but like you all

6:07 none of you none of you right people

6:09 over at Cisco alive are aging out

6:13 um but as they age out right and then

6:15 there's like the great resignation or

6:16 the great reshuffling call it whatever

6:18 you want right there's a change in

6:19 Workforce the rise of remote work means

6:21 that people can work for Amazon without

6:23 living in Seattle so that changes stuff

6:25 up some people are just making work-life

6:27 balance because of the or decisions

6:28 because of the pandemic whatever the

6:30 reason there's a wholesale change in the

6:33 network engineering Workforce now this

6:35 is terrifying because the bumper crop of

6:37 network engineers

6:39 it's not the same group that came up

6:41 before they didn't major in networking

6:42 and do four years at some major

6:44 university they're not trained on Cisco

6:46 press and and they don't have like rote

6:48 memorization of you know vendor-specific

6:50 syntax that you can use and some

6:52 certification that says I memorized the

6:54 commands they don't have all of that

6:57 the next crop of network Engineers

6:59 they're learning on AWS and Azure and

7:02 gcp which means the point of interaction

7:05 the point of familiarity isn't the CLI

7:10 it's now going to be the way we consume

7:11 Cloud it's probably closer to terraform

7:13 than it is to Cisco CLI

7:15 and what that does is that means that as

7:17 you try to fill your Workforce

7:20 with people who don't have as much

7:22 experience and haven't gone through the

7:24 memorization process then your mops and

7:27 stops don't work

7:29 and when that happens

7:32 you either break everything or you

7:34 introduce a new way of operating the

7:36 reason we've been winning

7:38 is because we introduced a new way of

7:39 operating

The Network Automation Journey

7:41 now Network automation has been a thing

7:43 for I've been in the network automation

7:45 space for like 15 years is that right oh

7:47 my God it's 15 years in network

7:48 Automation and if you look at the

7:50 millions of people hours that we've

7:52 poured into Network automation

7:54 like we are literally nowhere it's

7:56 embarrassing

7:58 and we have to rationalize with all that

8:00 effort why is it that things are not

8:02 more automated

8:04 it's not because people are too dumb

8:06 it's because Network automation is too

8:08 hard so devops bore out if you're

8:10 particularly cynical right to make error

8:12 as human to propagate error to all

8:14 server and automatic ways devops

8:16 now if you don't believe that ask the

8:17 folks at Facebook and and tell them to

8:20 to recount the story when they had to

8:22 saw into their data center cages so they

8:24 could get access because their badges

8:25 didn't work

8:27 that's automation

8:29 right now the reason that stuff like

8:32 that happens and I love this other one

8:33 right we do this not because it is easy

8:36 but because we thought it would be easy

8:37 right automation doesn't make good

8:40 automation makes more if you've got good

8:42 it makes more good but if you have bad

8:46 it makes more bad and that's the way to

8:48 break things at scale well we have to

8:50 solve around operations and automation

8:52 we got to look at this differently right

8:54 the old approach isn't working

8:57 so what do we do

8:58 I'm putting up really pretty slides

9:00 right um okay so we acquired a company

The Experience-First Data Center

9:03 called abstra abstra is like the literal

9:05 inventors of intent-based networking

9:08 right and with Appster we say let's go

9:11 after day zero day one and day two but

9:13 what if we presume rather than thinking

9:16 that people are too slow

9:18 we think that networking is too hard

9:21 now to be clear networking should be

9:22 kind of hard right we do complex things

9:24 but it should be really hard to make

9:26 mistakes and if you start with a lens of

9:29 reliability

9:31 then having a different why not just

9:33 speed but reliability that drives a

9:36 different what

9:37 so I meet with customers all the time

9:39 and I talk about Network Automation and

9:40 their operational journey and big words

9:42 like transformation and I was meeting

9:44 with a large retailer in Europe they've

9:46 got a large e-commerce site I mean this

9:47 is like one of the the biggest

9:49 e-commerce sites in Europe and I asked

9:51 them I said how long does it take you to

9:52 turn up a new server I want you all to

9:54 think in your head how long that should

9:55 take

9:56 because I was probably thinking the same

9:58 thing you are a couple hours maybe a

10:00 couple minutes if they're really

10:01 operated if they're really automated you

10:03 know maybe a couple of days if they're

10:04 kind of slow yeah six to eight weeks

10:08 like what

10:09 how can that be and they're like well

10:11 because we have these blackout Windows

10:14 right so we want to make a change what

10:16 we do is we schedule the change it has

10:18 to queue up until there's a review

10:19 meeting they have a review meeting

10:20 there's always a take two on the review

10:21 meeting they go to the take two of the

10:23 review meeting they get to the scheduled

10:24 maintenance window the scheduled

10:26 maintenance window only succeeds about

10:27 50 of the time they go to the second

10:29 maintenance window and then they get

10:30 their servers up

10:32 now this is interesting because it means

10:34 the problem the speed problem is not how

10:36 long it takes to configure stuff I'm

10:38 going to give you some useful advice you

10:39 guys can write this down

10:41 if your biggest problem is how long it

10:43 takes people to key in stuff or if

10:44 that's if you're really trying to make

10:45 it faster and it's in keystrokes are the

10:47 biggest problem that you have and you're

10:49 worried about people fat fingering you

10:51 know in your in your networks and write

10:53 this down the best return on investments

10:56 you will get is send your team to a

10:58 typing class

10:59 like they will they will type faster and

11:01 they will make fewer mistakes and you'll

11:03 be good

11:04 if however the biggest problem you have

11:06 isn't the typing but the elapsed time

11:08 right it's the coordination between

11:09 organizations it's the coordination

11:11 between tools if that's the actual

11:13 problem

11:15 then there's other ways to do it if I

11:17 could guarantee that a change that you

11:19 were going to make in your data center

11:20 today if I could guarantee

11:21 mathematically

11:23 that it was going to work that it was

11:25 known good

11:27 the thing I would save is not the typing

11:29 time we can automate that too by the way

11:31 the thing I would save is all the review

11:34 time it takes to get that change to the

11:35 system

11:37 that's where the difference is going to

11:39 be made

11:41 automation is nowhere not because people

11:43 aren't capable it's because we've been

11:44 trying to solve the wrong damn problem

11:48 if you want to drive super fast on the

11:49 freeway go for it right the reason you

11:51 don't is because you're going to get

11:52 into accidents you want to automate

11:54 today you know code some stuff up the

11:56 reason you don't do it is because you're

11:57 going to get into accidents take that

11:59 problem away and you unlock speed

12:02 and when you do

12:04 you get real value that comes back in

12:07 return

12:08 now we do all of this through intent

12:10 based networking if you're not like an

12:11 intent based networking person let me

12:13 describe it fairly simply intent based

12:15 networking says I want the language of

12:17 networking to be what you want not how

12:20 to get it now think about how you get a

12:22 network today right you take hundreds or

12:24 thousands of distributed devices you set

12:26 hundreds or thousands of knobs on them

12:28 and when you get it just right you

12:30 slowly back away and you don't touch

12:32 anything

12:33 I started my career I did research for

12:36 Boeing I worked on jet engine design it

12:38 sounds really cool it's kind of boring

12:40 um

12:41 and I always joke I'm like if we built

12:42 airplanes or we build Networks

12:44 I would walk everywhere and I would

12:48 constantly be looking up for falling

12:51 airplanes right we need to change that

12:53 and that means flipping what we do now

12:55 when you do that when you work at the

12:57 level of what do you want not what not

12:59 how do the devices work then the tool

13:01 translates what you want into device

13:03 syntax into device config when we do

13:06 that by very nature the product is

13:08 multi-vendor we are the only

13:09 multi-vendor game in town

13:11 our lead customers are using us over the

13:13 top of ACI and over the top of Arista

13:16 and over the top of Dell and yes over

13:18 the top of juniper but by being

13:20 multi-vendor we give them a different

13:21 level of control

13:24 and then if you build a network and

13:25 you're not thinking about security I

13:27 don't know what you're doing we'll talk

13:29 a bit about security here in in on the

13:31 next session but in the security space

13:33 if we know what this what the network

13:35 looks like then what we can do is start

13:38 highlighting things like overlapping

13:40 security policies so you can flag if

13:42 there's going to be issues or likely

13:44 issues

13:45 and it's not enough to do this at Day

13:47 Zero what happens on day two

13:50 so we take that and then we make a model

13:52 of it we look at all the network State

13:54 and we say this is what a known good

13:56 Network looks like and when we push it

13:58 to production

14:00 then what we do is we say here's what's

14:02 actually in production and if those two

14:03 things are the same

14:05 we give you a big green thumbs up and if

14:07 they're different

14:09 we tell you what's wrong

14:11 what's the number one cause of downtime

14:12 right it's like fiber seeking backhoes

14:15 DNS probably the top two once you get

14:18 into the networking side it's human

14:19 error

14:20 what I want to do is provide an

14:22 environment where we drive human error

14:25 to zero

14:27 when we do this we see return you see

14:30 the numbers in terms of payback and Roi

14:33 it's not just about what do you get out

14:34 of the tool it's about what do you what

14:36 is required to make the network work day

14:39 after day after day and when you do this

14:41 you can start rationalizing tools and

14:43 getting rid of that

14:44 that allows you to streamline things it

14:46 lets you put people on a smaller number

14:48 of tools regardless of what their

14:50 experience is

14:51 if I'm not waiting for a ccie or some

14:54 certification to prove that somebody has

14:57 demonstrated they can do something then

15:00 I can start to hire and change my

15:01 Workforce up it means I can start moving

15:04 workloads around a bit so that different

15:05 people can do different things

15:07 and if I can do that over a multi-vendor

15:09 environment

15:10 then it means you can allow the physics

15:12 or the economics or maybe the features

15:14 to dictate your next purchase

The Proven Business Case of Juniper Apstra

15:18 and our customers they make those next

15:20 purchases I'll start I'm not going to go

15:23 through all these you can read them or

15:24 is the font big enough you can look at

15:25 it and see big white blocks if you're in

15:27 the back T Systems was our lead customer

15:29 right large data center provider in

15:31 Germany they actually came to us before

15:33 the acquisition they said you need to

15:34 acquire this company we're using it to

15:37 cap ACI we would like to build Juniper

15:39 but you have to have a management story

15:40 if you can unify that then you give us a

15:43 credible strategy to move from where we

15:45 are to where we want to be I said sold

15:47 let's go do that we did that and then

15:50 they and they were able to cap and grow

15:51 it gave them flexibility in their vendor

15:54 choice where their operations previously

15:55 didn't allow it

15:57 um the one in the the upper right that's

15:59 a rifison they're like a large a large

16:02 Bank

16:03 and Ernest at rifles and these guys he's

16:05 a great engineer listening to him he

16:07 gets so he gets super geeked out about

16:09 the technology and he will go for like

16:11 days on the technology bit but the party

16:13 was actually most excited about his

16:15 procurement team who he usually has to

16:17 fight with to get things through his

16:19 procurement team became fans of the

16:21 technology because it meant they could

16:23 put every RFP out to bid sincerely

16:27 and they got uh then they could put

16:29 things like lead times anyone dealing

16:31 with supply chain no one right that's

16:32 all solved

16:34 um they could deal with like lead times

16:35 they could put in uh pricing and then

16:37 they could force everyone to to bid

16:40 the part that's cool they're not on this

16:42 screen we have a Canadian uh service

16:44 provider that uses App Store over the

16:46 top they had an environment where we

16:48 couldn't meet their requirements on lead

16:50 times

16:51 and so they swapped to Dell I have a

16:53 happy Customer because they were able to

16:56 make a vendor Choice and then after that

16:58 then they're they're putting Juniper

17:00 back in and subsequent builds it gives

17:02 you freedom and flexibility

17:05 uh Tigo they have uh data centers in

17:09 like Columbia and Guatemala Belize

17:11 Honduras Panama they had issues because

17:15 they had an uneven Workforce people that

17:16 acted semi-autonomously but they needed

17:19 to deploy the same data centers

17:20 everywhere that showed up as like

17:22 quality problems for them because their

17:24 procedures and their architectures are

17:25 always like similar but kind of

17:27 different we rolled abstra in there

17:30 it solidified the workforce they're now

17:32 stamping that out in every location and

17:35 all the issues they had those issues are

17:37 gone because when you standardize the

17:39 architecture and you streamline the

17:40 testing what you get is better results

Intent-Based Networking & AI

17:45 now I got all the way through this and I

17:46 didn't even mention AI like so we'd have

17:49 to be idiots to look at all the stuff

17:52 that you see in Marvis and Ai and say

17:54 you know let's let's keep it in campus

17:56 of course we want to bring these things

17:58 together in a data center there's some

18:00 things that are deterministic they're

18:02 going to be you want them to be the same

18:03 way every time for that we use abstra

18:06 there's some things that are stochastic

18:08 probabilistic we things like

18:09 troubleshooting when we talk about you

18:11 know bringing the the tickets down to

18:13 zero and helping identify where the root

18:15 cause is figuring out where you know the

18:17 point of dmarc is the problem is going

18:19 to be somewhere between the access port

18:21 and and then DCI or it's over the WAN

18:23 link or whatever

18:24 bringing AI to bear on that problem

18:27 it supercharges differentiation that we

18:30 already have

18:31 the reason we're at AI in action is that

18:34 if we can take these things and bring

18:36 them together into a common uh into a

18:38 common platform

18:41 then the things that you're seeing on

18:42 the missed side

18:44 you start seeing those on the data

18:47 center side

18:48 we've been working at this for quarters

18:50 now and that bringing these things

18:53 together is the key to transforming

18:55 operations going forward

Demanding More from Your Network

18:58 and so I want to leave you with this

19:00 right when we talk about you know things

19:02 like TCO or we talk about things like

19:05 agility it's not only some advantage

19:08 that a cruise at the business level

19:11 right agility is and I have 11 year old

19:13 twin boys right for me doing things

19:16 simpler knowing that it's going to work

19:18 that means that

19:20 I can go to a soccer tournament on a

19:22 weekend because I'm not worried about

19:23 you know staying after if my production

19:25 change doesn't doesn't go the way it's

19:27 supposed to go it means I can spend an

19:29 extra dinner with my family where I

19:30 otherwise might have had to work

19:32 the differences that we make they're

19:33 more than just technical they're more

19:35 than just the percentages these are

19:36 personal differences

19:38 now I'm telling you that that's on the

19:39 horizon and whether you're in data

19:41 center or you merely work alongside

19:42 other teams that are in data center it's

19:44 incumbent upon you today to challenge

19:46 the status quo demand more from your

19:49 data center demand that when you go to

19:51 RFP

19:53 that anybody could legitimately bid for

19:55 it

19:56 I dare you to put out an RFP that any

20:00 supplier can bid and not be worried

20:01 about the operational implications

20:03 I dare you to hire a new college grad

20:06 because you shouldn't have to have a

20:07 damn certification in 25 years of

20:09 experience to provision a pod that's

20:11 already been deployed hundreds of times

20:13 in your environment

20:15 or better yet I dare you to push to

20:18 production on a Friday

20:19 I'm Mike Bouchon where's Juniper Data

20:22 Center and this is what AI in action

20:23 looks like in Data Center

20:31 now networking may start with switches

20:33 but it certainly includes security I

20:37 give you Kate Adams

20:40 [Music]

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