Guy Daniels, Director of Content, TelecomTV

Automating Data Center Operations — Roundtable and Q&A

Data CenterNetwork Automation
Guy Daniels Headshot
The screenshot is of Ernest Altbart, IT Architect with Raiffeisen Informatik. He is wearing a light green collared shirt and appears to be talking. There is a white wall behind him with four pictures on the wall that are abstract.

Bushong: “The future is decidedly automated.”

Tune into TelecomTV’s panel discussion on automating data center operations and learn more about the recent results from Juniper Networks and Analysys Mason’s industry survey of 30 communication services providers (CSPs). The survey looked at how automation can be accelerated –– and why it should be. 

Panel guests include: Gorkem Yigit from Analysys Mason; Ernest Altbart, an IT Architect at Raiffeisen Informatik; and Michael Bushong, Juniper’s VP of Cloud-Ready Data Center. The discussion is followed by an audience Q&A. 

Listen as Gorkem Yigit highlights key findings from the survey, including current data center strategies, the state of data center automation and future plans, and the main challenges facing CSPs when it comes to automation.  

Show more

You’ll learn

  • Juniper’s philosophy of data center networking, operations, and intent-based networking 

  • Why Juniper engaged Analysys Mason to conduct this recent survey of CSPs worldwide

  • Key results from the survey and what they mean for your organization 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders

Host

Guy Daniels Headshot
Guy Daniels
Director of Content, TelecomTV

Guest speakers

Gorkem Yigit Headshot
Gorkem Yigit
Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason
Ernest Altbart Headshot
Ernest Altbart
IT Architect, Raiffeisen Informatik 
Mike Bushong Headshot
Michael Bushong
VP of Cloud-Ready Data Center, Juniper Networks 
Transcript

0:04 hello you're watching telecom tv i'm guy daniels director of content and welcome

0:09 to our live q a program on automating data center operations

0:16 juniper networks and analysis mason have collaborated on a new survey with 30

0:22 communication services providers to find out why and how the introduction of

0:27 automated processes for data center operations can be accelerated and managed now we unveiled the results of

0:35 the survey on tuesday and if you haven't yet seen that discussion program don't

0:40 worry you can watch it on demand later just follow the links below this video

0:45 player window today though we're going to be sharing more thoughts about the survey and what

0:51 it means for csps as well as answering your questions during this live show now

0:57 there's a form here on the website for you to submit them we have already received quite a few following our

1:04 earlier program but we would still like more so if you haven't already done so

1:10 then please send us your questions now we have about 45 minutes remaining so

1:17 don't delay well let's now meet our guests and taking part in today's live q a show are

1:26 gurkham yeet principal analyst at analysis mason

1:31 michael bushong vp cloud ready data center at juniper networks

1:38 and ernest oldbart i.t architect at riveison informatic

1:44 welcome all of you thanks so much for taking part today now before we get to

1:50 our first viewer question mike let me first of all ask you um what is

1:56 juniper's philosophy when it comes to data center networking and nice hair by

2:02 the way thank you yeah green is my natural color so uh um the the green just to kind of dispel

2:10 that um we had an internal bet inside our company depending on whether how you look at it

2:15 i either won or i lost and so i am now green in terms of like just data center

2:21 philosophy i think the the philosophy is fairly straightforward in the physical switching layer we let

2:27 the economics and the physics dictate the choice the industry is largely settled on how we build physical data

2:34 centers that's typically merchant silicon lead building out fabrics with evpn or bgp

2:41 and once we standardize that it means the action moves from on the box to above the box

2:48 philosophically we believe that it's all about operations and within operations the thing to opt

2:53 to optimize for it's not necessarily going only for speed it's about reliability it's about

2:59 making sure people can do things the right way every time without fail we've embraced this whole concept of

3:06 intent-based networking which is the idea that we should be declarative we should say what we want

3:12 and allow the tools to translate what we want into how we get it because the future is decidedly

3:17 multi-vendor the future is uh it's decidedly automated it's software defined and so

3:24 that's really where the action is where most of our customers are engaging and frankly where i think most of the

3:30 decisions will be made over the next decade i think that's that's basically where we're headed

3:35 great thanks for that mike uh and why did you engage announcers mason to conduct this survey for you

3:42 so if we're convinced that the action is in the operation space if we believe that

3:49 automation is where things go if we believe that um things like uh intent-based models are

3:56 the way to solve pain and we're absolutely convinced of that but if you look at like just industry traction

4:03 people aren't moving as fast as you would expect and this is a actually a conversation like operations is a

4:09 conversation that's more than you know a decade old at this point and what we wanted to know was

4:14 frankly why you know what are people seeing what are the the barriers what are the challenges

4:19 what are the things that are driving their behavior and frankly we can have all the opinions we want but what we need is is actual

4:26 you know data to complete the analysis so that we can help meet people where they are because frankly as an industry

4:33 we've sunk you know i would argue millions of people hours into trying to solve the problem

4:39 and yet the problem still persists so how do we get enough information to take action how do we become more helpful

4:45 understanding that this isn't a pure technology problem there's more that sits behind it but what's the nature of

4:51 that what is what's holding people up and then frankly what what opportunities does that create how does that change

4:58 engagement and then finally like how do we help so the the hope was that you know a survey like this would would really open

5:04 up some more specifics allowing us to plug in where people are and then get them to where frankly we

5:10 all know we want to be great absolutely thanks mike so goku moving across to you uh we need to

5:16 understand more as mike says so tell us about the the server you conducted and and the key results you discovered

5:23 sure yeah so we did a quite detailed online survey with 30 large tier 1

5:28 communication service providers around the world and it included both strategy people and

5:34 technical staff and in addition to that um we had in-depth conversations with five other

5:41 csps to drill into the uh their data center automation um approach

5:46 so we asked them about their key drivers and transfer their data center strategies the current state of their

5:53 data center network automation their future plans and the main challenges and the barriers they are facing today

5:59 and we have several very interesting findings surfaced from this research first of all

6:06 in terms of the key drivers and the trends we see that the csp data center strategies are shaped around three main

6:13 areas one is the new opportunities in the enterprise many services and

6:18 connectivity markets and the second is network modification for 5g including the the cloud native

6:25 transformation of 5g mobile core and radio access network and the third is the deployment of

6:31 near-edge computing locations in order to support support both 5g and

6:36 enterprise and the consumers services so all these new services and networks they

6:42 need highly automated and programmable data centers to run on however when we look at the current state of

6:49 most csp data centers they are not really ready for the requirements of 5g edge and the new

6:56 new service opportunities i just mentioned csps have made very limited progress in

7:01 terms of automating their data center network operations across day 0 day 1 and day 2 processes

7:08 and also they don't really show a strong ambition or urgency to address that in the near term and which i believe poses

7:14 a significant risk to their aspirations and they identified

7:20 three main barriers and inhibitors causing this low level of automation and the first one the top barrier we

7:26 found was operational complexity and it stems from the highly fragmented um data center

7:32 network technologies and operations because csps they have a lot of vendor-specific and domain-specific

7:38 silos which makes it very hard to rationalize and automate their data center networks and as mike said it's

7:45 not just about the technology we also found some operational and organizational challenges for example

7:51 the most csps are finding it difficult to justify the business case for the automation investments and this is not

7:58 because there is not a business case but it is that most csps they struggle to understand the business case and gather

8:04 the data internally to build that and finally we found that csps have an

8:09 entirely different mindset towards data center networking and automation compared to enterprise and hyperscalers

8:17 most csps don't have an automation first mindset and they are more accustomed to throwing more people as human glue to

8:24 solve their problems or doing very expensive custom integrations or developing add-on tools so overall

8:30 they're generally behind the hyper skaters and even most enterprises when it comes to data center automation

8:37 fascinating thanks very much for that gurkham and a reminder that there is a link below this video and you can access

8:44 the research yourself now earnest uh let's let's uh come across to you because we invited you to this panel

8:50 because rifason is a service provider that is at the forefront of network automation so your perspective is really

8:56 going to be useful here tell us more about your business and do these survey

9:02 findings that gurkham has been talking about do they resonate with you well first for our business uh we are 90

9:08 service providers in the business for 50 plus years mainly targeting uh the reif eisen group here in austria and in

9:16 eastern europe uh there's banks and insurances in there so there's a lot of different use cases uh for over the

9:22 decades uh we we deployed it infrastructure for so we have a lot of experience and one of the findings that

9:29 that resonates is one thing said just before that

9:34 that's the mindset i think it takes a very long time to develop a mindset that

9:40 really drives you towards automation you have to feel the pain obviously um which we have felt over the decades

9:47 in doing so and also to develop the need uh for

9:52 standardization to really develop a standard for certain infrastructures that you deploy and run

9:58 um i think that comes over time because in the first places you always think i can manage i can do that by hand and you

10:05 of course do it by hand in the first place because you usually drive pocs and stuff like that

10:10 and that's not where you deploy full automation but at a certain point when you put it in the production it should be there and that's a hard transition to

10:16 do so that's that that's one thing that resonates quite well of of course i would maybe like to add two more angles

10:23 that were key drivers for us that's a complexity of the infrastructure that can hardly be

10:29 managed any other way than by automation because the the technologies we use become increasingly complex and

10:36 increasingly complicated actually to to deploy and and to run uh from just the

10:41 number of parameters think ebp and btb vxlan fabrics for instance there's a lot

10:47 of neighborships going on a lot of parameters and ip addresses to fill in doing that by hand in a medium to large

10:54 scale is next to impossible to do error-free that's one angle the other relates to that a little bit it's it's

11:00 uh targeted towards people because when uh when you look at the networking industry and that's something i learned

11:05 from from my engagement with juniper in in the course of the last months uh was

11:11 that it's actually a global problem it's something we experienced here in austria that there is not many people wanting to

11:17 join the networking industries there is not young guys coming up you you have a problem in in the in the hr area where

11:24 to get people in the in the correct skill set if you want and therefore you need to find a way to

11:31 to deal with additional features with additional scale with additional data centers networks targets

11:38 etc and one way of course to deal with that is to increase your level of automation because then you can actually

11:45 use uh the same amount of people um skillful people uh for for those things

11:51 and and scale uh much more easily than than you could if you'd deployed a

11:57 manual or even semi-manual method of doing that so those two things are are

12:02 something that were key drivers for us as well so ernest it does sound like there's a a

12:08 lot of factors there's many factors that you need to balance if you're going to successfully implement this

12:15 absolutely yeah short anecdote here of course there's the purchasing

12:20 angle as well i think mike mentioned it before uh that the vendor independency that's also

12:26 something that uh any purchasing department strives for and would like to achieve uh and uh i think i don't need

12:34 to tell the audience how hard that has been over the last decades with a with an automation layer that sort of

12:40 abstracts the hardware to a certain extent i have to say it's not a free-for-all where you can deploy

12:45 whatever box you wish just bought around the corner but when you do an abstraction of of your

12:51 hardware it gives you a certain kind of freedom and here's a short example in the latest rfp we did that was right at

12:58 the beginning of that of that that's called a global chip crisis where where uh the

13:04 supply chains getting increasingly under stress and delivery times uh prolong

13:09 themselves more or less um we were actually free uh to to name three

13:14 hardware vendors um and and to do that uh and tell them whoever can deliver

13:20 first um we will take your equipment if uh because we could do that from uh from

13:25 the tools that we we had deployed of course purchasing loved that um and that that was an angle that is important or

13:33 could be important when when you say on the time stress um luckily for us um it

13:39 all fit well together and we got the uh our number one of the rfp so we were

13:44 kind of lucky in that regard but it just gives us gave us the opportunity to do that if necessary so that's also uh

13:52 quite an interesting angle i thought in in the process wouldn't have anticipated that yeah absolutely thanks ernest for that

13:59 now we've been calling for your questions viewer questions for this program

14:04 and here's one we received in um mike i may put this one to you first possibly

14:10 um let me read the question out the lack of standardization was identified as the

14:16 number one barrier to data center automation in the white paper so who therefore should be leading the

14:23 standards push mike is that one you're able to take a stab at first certainly

14:28 have opinions um you know standardization tends to be a

14:33 team sport um i think the the what most people believe is that you

14:38 know people have to to show up you know companies vendors have to agree fundamentally there's standards bodies

14:44 that emerge you know obviously we've got you know long-time standards bodies like ietf we've got emergent

14:52 groups that come together like onug that all kind of aspire to provide

14:57 i guess guidance that i will tell you this though having run standards bodies before

15:03 it's not it's not only incumbent upon the providers of technology to drive things

15:10 i'll tell you what moves needles is adoption frankly you know dollars will will drive

15:17 or euros or whatever currency right will drive behavior and so what what needs to happen frankly

15:24 is that you know people need to to move away from what i would call legacy architectural practices

15:30 ernest commented on you know there's a mindset change the mindset is also what i call the derivative rfp when most

15:36 people build out infrastructure what they do is they take an excel spreadsheet that had all the requirements of the old infrastructure

15:42 and then they add two or three lines at the bottom we are reasonably good as an industry at

15:48 picking up new new things we are horrific as an industry at retiring old things

15:54 and it's the this sprawling technology bits that actually are a greater inhibitor

16:00 i think standard apis are fine but but common and and sort of openly defined

16:06 api layers can get past a lot of that even if they're not standard as long as they're they're unchanging they're well

16:12 documented and they're well used and then we can handle things like versioning so they're not changing all

16:17 the time like if that happens we can make progress but the thing that's very difficult is

16:22 managing diversity ernest also mentioned the whole complexity angle the more things we have

16:29 the more difficult it is and i think you know fundamentally it's this and

16:34 in the csp market in particular by the way we have a tendency to to sweat our

16:39 assets we want to hold on to the technology as long as we can because it drives a better return right

16:45 you don't want to decommission a service the the side effect of that though is that these things linger and they don't

16:52 linger for a few quarters or a few years they linger for decades and when that happens it means that anytime we bring

16:59 in like an automation or an abstraction layer we're not abstracting something clean you're abstracting you know

17:05 decades of technical debt and that frankly is is near impossible

17:10 and so we think about who drives the standards you know i would say flip that conversation a bit and let's

17:17 develop a practice of removing things one of the things i tell customers all the time

17:22 is make a list of everything you have right the number of devices the versions of operating system

17:28 the different protocols and technologies you have provisioned the firewall rules that are

17:34 you know exist across the the whole environment make that list and then record what you add to it and record

17:40 what you take away and if that list isn't meaningfully smaller year on year you're moving in the wrong direction

17:47 you can't standardize when it's a million things what you can you can standardize when things are relatively

17:52 small and i think that's what we've learned from like the hyperscalers instead of bending the infrastructure to

17:57 the applications they bent the applications to the infrastructure like that's and that that's a bigger more

18:03 bang for your buck kind of change that i think we make so i would say encourage customers i

18:09 guess i know long answer but i would encourage you know users in the space to to really

18:15 take control their destiny and and think less about how do you you know incrementally change and more about you

18:22 know how should you design what are the architectural principle principles you'll base it on and then automation

18:27 becomes a much easier task great point there mike thank you very much for that answer

18:34 um well let's therefore move on because we've got another audience question in here um

18:40 gurkham let me put this one to you based on the survey findings what do you

18:46 recommend that csps do in the near future yeah

18:52 well i think our research makes it very clear that you know the csps should take action

18:58 urgently and they really need to increase their focus and the investments in the data

19:03 center automation given that the new 5g and edge services you know they're just around the corner

19:09 and automation is a long journey and csps cannot really afford the risk of waiting for

19:15 you know end-of-life replacement or technology refresh cycles so as a first step i would recommend

19:21 csps to establish their priorities and timings for which parts of the data center

19:27 networks and processes you know they need auto they need to automate and of course they should be in line with their

19:33 um the business strategies and objectives and another key step um in this journey

19:39 i would say will be the tackling the technology fragmentation and the complexity i mentioned earlier

19:45 and one way to do that is adopting your horizontal multi-vendor abstraction and automation platform

19:52 and because operators they really need to collapse these um existing silos and

19:57 and they need to move to more intent driven and automation-first approach for their data center operations

20:03 and going forwards um csps they need to think about introducing new policies and

20:09 mechanisms in order to prevent um you know this vendor dependence bottoms up

20:14 approach on to data center designs as mike mentioned and there are lots of legacy technologies technical debt so

20:20 this cannot repeat again so for example they can institute a board or a central group

20:26 that oversees the introduction of any new data center technologies and they would insist that any new vendor

20:33 conforms to the data center automation plan and the regime the operator is already in place and we are seeing um

20:40 similar approaches um to this by advanced operators um in their 5g cloud platforms already

20:46 and lastly i would say um all this automation and the transformation is not something that csps should take on a

20:53 loan because um they need suitable technology partners to update this journey so they need to look for

21:00 external partners that have extensive automation experience and not only with you know other csps but also with hyper

21:07 skills and enterprises so that they can get the solutions and the professional services um to help these the

21:13 transformation costs disruption and the risk great thanks kirkum and mike you'd like

21:20 to add some comments as to what csp should be doing in the near term yeah i wanted to go back to the the opening

21:26 comments that gorka made about you know business case the other thing i would add is you've got to instrument your

21:31 environment you know we're decent as an industry at instrumenting our services you know

21:36 what's performance look like in the operation space we don't always have information you know what if you're

21:42 a leader in the space it's things like decision support how do you know how much you know time you saved how do

21:48 you know things like opportunity cost that requires a little bit of thought and it's not just about you know how

21:54 many heads can i remove it's about how more like how much more effective can i make people how do i improve

22:00 productivity i think you have to measure that and i think that has to become you know part of the operating environment

22:05 and it's more than deploying a technology at some point you got to understand what your baseline is

22:10 and that gives you some idea by the way of competitive benchmarking which allows people to compete in this space

22:17 i just i think paying attention to to how you justify decisions is really important and often overlooked

22:23 because it doesn't necessarily drive the specific service in the moment but but gorkham talked about a couple of things

22:30 that are important right the proliferation of you know edge clouds and 5g i mean it's basically a trade-off

22:36 we're saying we're going to make lots of small data centers that are going to be independently operated the way you pay for that

22:43 effectively is through operations if you don't instrument that environment you're never going to know if the economics are

22:49 going to play out as you think they should thanks mike and gurkham just to be absolutely clear here

22:56 unless they've already started of course csps should start this journey as soon as possible it's it's not just simply

23:02 part of a technology replacement life cycle you're absolutely right yes um

23:08 so as part of this research um we had you know conversations with operators and some of them um their thinking was

23:15 more around yes we are gonna think about um network automation sdn and you know

23:21 programmability when you know the the next technology um life cycle investment

23:27 um starts so they're more like okay you know let's let's wait and see if that we didn't really see you know the urgency

23:34 and there's clearly there's the disconnect between you know um all that 5g and the age aspirations and you know

23:41 the the the attention and then the level of interest that is um going into the automation um at the moment so

23:48 and our research i think it's it's very clear that um they're already late because um first

23:54 of all automation takes time you know there's not like like a magical solution so there are going to be you know

24:00 significant migration and modernization activities they need to take place to get there

24:06 right and so given the you know the low levels of its automation we see in the csp data centers today waiting for the

24:13 next replacement cycle would mean japan jeopardizing your you know 5g and age opportunities because the data center

24:20 network fabric and its automation is becoming an essential underpinning of their business

24:26 great thanks for those comments to to that question and a reminder to our viewers please keep sending in your

24:33 questions we are about halfway through our program now um ernest let me come back to you as a

24:41 company that's at the forefront of network automation and is one of those companies that's well on the way in this

24:47 journey tell us what have been your keys to success well first of all we know we're not

24:53 finished yet it's a it's a never-ending journey it goes on and on and on and on um the key is to to to success

25:00 is i think uh again a mindset approach we discovered fairly early uh and and

25:06 didn't even know that there were fitting solutions out there at the time that uh the the level of complexity i

25:12 mentioned earlier can only be managed with an automation layer of some kind so we didn't know exactly what we

25:19 were looking for we just knew um well this this has to be automated it's way too big and to complicate it to do that

25:26 by hand i mentioned the people of angle earlier as well so i guess a

25:33 key factor in our success if you want this is being aware of where some key

25:39 challenges were i'm not saying we discovered them all because there will be surprises along the way you you will

25:44 have problems this is it this is this is a given actually this is something uh there's something in it uh you you

25:51 didn't think of all the time and didn't anticipate but i think an awareness uh much like garcon

25:57 managed you need to do it now this this is this was actually one of the thoughts we had uh during uh the beginning of our

26:04 of our process here i have to admit though it it coincided with the life cycle so this makes it of course a lot

26:10 easier to do that um when when you know that that you have to do something

26:15 and it's actually uh driven by some end of life or end of sale announcements by your former hardware

26:22 vendor so that helps but i think the awareness of of many

26:28 angles is is a key factor in that in that journey

26:33 might be also that with 50 years of experience that you get a little more angles in the back of your head

26:40 than companies that are not that long in the market so that could also have helped in that regard but i'd stick with

26:48 with the general awareness of that you need to do it now as curcums aptly put

26:53 it um now is actually too late the best time to start was two years ago

27:00 and ernest you you mentioned the issue complexity there is it a case that you usually can't get rid of complexity

27:07 completely but you can you can either hide it or you can manage it and and this is the whole the whole point of

27:13 automation it absolutely is you never get rid of it um our company exists for

27:18 50 plus years there's a legacy environment that's there that doesn't go away just because you're doing something

27:24 new you have to deal with it and and therefore the complexity of course stays to to a

27:30 larger amount but what you can do is i'm going back to the beginning now standardization is is

27:36 something that we have been striving for over a couple of decades and is something we of course never fully

27:41 achieved but but it's something that we're always targeting for but having the tools to do that is is of

27:48 course lightening the situation a lot and by that intent based networking when you

27:55 set an intent and you have the tool set to keep that intent that is a very strong support factor in

28:00 in any standardization drive you you have and deploy and that's something that enables you

28:07 again to to run in in a very smooth way in fast and stable and and that's the main

28:15 characteristics that our customers think banking and insurance again

28:20 want from their i.t infrastructure they're not so much concerned about knobs and whistles they're really really

28:26 concerned about does it run 24 7 because this is where payment and insurance contracts run over and that's the that's

28:33 the the main business driver of for them um what it boils down to

28:38 technologically that's our job to do and of course once you standardize things and they are all done in the same

28:45 way uh it's very likely that they run a lot more smoothly than when you're dealing with an anthill of

28:51 of complexity in your data center sure thank you ernest for for those

28:56 views now we've had a question in it's of a similar type of question to the last one here so uh perhaps uh mike and

29:03 kirkham i could put this to you and mike perhaps i could start with you and it's about complexity and the question is you

29:08 know how do you resolve the operational complexity problem because this was a

29:14 big big problem that was identified in the research and as ernest has also said but you know is there an easy solution

29:20 here is there an easy solution i don't know that there's easy solutions for most of what we're doing and we have

29:26 to there's an inherent complexity and challenge in what csps have to do broadly

29:32 i think in terms of how do you address the complexity you know i do think we've talked a bit about how do you standardize around designs i think

29:38 snowflake designs are the enemy they everything that you add that's different and diverse is challenging

29:45 i think that you have to elevate so ernest talks a lot about abstraction you have to eliminate elevate operations

29:52 not just above the box but above the network ideally if you move to declarative models the whole premise of intent-based

29:58 networking just as a movement is this idea that you ought to say what you want not necessarily how you want it

30:05 when you do that the software controllers act as effectively api brokers translating intent into

30:12 underlying behavior that's what provides the multi-vendor elements by the way so when ernest talks about that procurement

30:18 advantage or the lead time challenge the only way you can get that is if your operations aren't

30:23 twiddling in vendor-specific cli but are rather looking at kind of declarative intent allowing the system to to adjust

30:31 to what the underlying devices are i think standardized designs that are you know templated or blueprinted so

30:37 that you can essentially stamp the same thing out over and over and over again that's critical as we talk about the the

30:44 proliferation of edge cloud the rollout of 5g which moves from these large national data centers to highly

30:50 distributed what that means is that you're going to replace you know very large data centers

30:55 with lots of very small data centers and that means that we've got to create those as as similarly as possible so we can

31:02 reduce the kind of the technology and design sprawl that would otherwise lead to even additional complexity

31:08 and then on top of all of that you can't leave things like you know choice and flexibility out so ideally

31:15 it's about how do you do all that with with a uniform operations layer i want my operations to be consistent allow the

31:22 economics the lead times the the physics to dictate my underlying choices

31:27 so you've got to then you know build out explicitly abstraction bits um it means

31:33 that it's you know a bit of an ecosystem play instead of like all in on you know here's my one vendor

31:39 and that's important because that's how you diversify risk by the way and the current supply chain crunch should teach

31:44 us all that that's important so it's how do you design abstraction at the top and and i want to go back to the

31:50 people side of that right the it's not only a technology problem right the reason we customize is because we want

31:56 control there's a bit of a control trade-off which you have to agree to is that you don't want everything to be you know

32:03 finely tuned highly tailored to a specific environment you've got to be willing to say look i'm going to go in

32:09 with with well tested blueprints or are kind of archetypes for

32:15 for different data centers that i want and then you have to have the discipline to maintain that the tooling can help

32:21 but there's a policy angle you know a corporate policy angle that comes in uh behind that to really support it if you

32:27 can provide both of those the tooling and sort of the cultural support then i think you have not just a chance you

32:34 know i think i think you can be successful and what's interesting is is because it's such a difficult thing to do that success will create outsized

32:41 business benefits for for the overall business and it will drive a much better experience for the customers that attach

32:48 great thanks very much mike um well look we do have quite a few more questions to get through so perhaps we should just uh

32:54 we should move on to our next question a lot of these questions are connected um

33:00 gurkham here's another question here um how do service provider data center

33:05 strategies vary based on geography is there any variance uh dependent upon

33:11 where they're situated yes yes absolutely and i would recommend anyone to go back and watch

33:18 the first part of this series where i explain all the experiences in detail but i can still give you

33:24 an overview so when we looked at the overall data center strategies by geography

33:32 we found stark differences between the western world and the east especially asia

33:37 pacific so north american and western european csps they've been reducing and

33:43 consolidating their to their traditional data centers for a while now because

33:48 they are transforming their i.t and the networks with public cloud and the sas providers and they're also looking to

33:54 cut their data center capex but of course there are still plenty of traditional data centers um these csps

34:02 still own and operates however the csps in asia pacific are

34:07 actually adding new data center sites and capacity because a lot of them are actually in the

34:12 business of providing data center services and historically public cloud providers presence in those

34:19 regions weren't as strong as as in the western world so

34:24 when we looked at the data center automation specifically

34:29 we actually found some quite interesting results some csps in asia pacific middle

34:35 east and latin america they reported higher levels of data center automation than their peers in north america and

34:42 western europe and we believe one of the reasons for this is that the csps in these regions

34:47 they have a newer technology data centers as they continue to invest in you know building new data centers and

34:54 new technologies come it's more automation in north america and western europe on

34:59 the other hand there's still a lot of legacy in csp data centers and that needs you know transformation and

35:05 modernization so this might be the impact of the data center footprints

35:10 and the capex reduction strategies that we see in these regions great thank you and i'll just echo what

35:17 gurkham said there if you haven't seen the first part in this series yet then then you ought to if you can there's a

35:24 link below this video player window now mike question uh to you based on on your

35:31 experience you know what are you hearing from your customers about how they're building the business case to automate

35:38 data center operations right so there's two ways to fundamentally build the business case

35:44 one is kind of cost avoidance the other is preparing for growth and looking at how do you accelerate

35:50 um on the cost avoidance side you know it's really how do you become more efficient and that's benchmarking the things that

35:56 you have to do and then you know building out the tools to make that easier to do i want to caution people here that that

36:03 if the goal of automation is that you're simply going to remove people i think that's a a bit of a narrow goal right i think we

36:10 have to look at how do we best deploy our folks i look at it as removing the toil like how do you get people out of

36:16 the things that are you know time consuming but not necessarily difference making the things that ought to be automated and allow

36:23 them to apply their specialist skills uh in support of things that are more

36:28 difference-making ernest talked earlier about the difficulty of just maintaining staffing this whole pandemic and work

36:35 from home thing is opening up hiring worldwide and that is very challenging

36:40 because it means companies that we're traditionally hiring in major tech hubs can hire from anywhere and that puts people under under pressure and as those

36:46 people leave it's like how do you get the remaining workforce to be as productive like that's

36:52 i i think you got to think about that you know from just a business case perspective how quickly do you onboard

36:57 what does your recruitment and talent look like um on the other side there's a kind of a growth

37:03 perspective which is you know for every unit of growth you know what happens to operations spend

37:08 ideally your operations don't grow linearly with the the with the the size or footprint of your overall services

37:14 and so there's a an element there that says how productively how profitably can we we grow services

37:20 i think that's the other kind of more obvious angle you put those two together though and you get a kind of a mix of opportunity

37:26 cost along with you know additional online capacity going forward that's that's how i would build the business

37:32 case i think it allows you to make a case to management that says you know allow us to be more effective and really look at

37:39 the you know the the bottom line while simultaneously supporting you know the growth initiatives required to drive top

37:45 line growth great thank you very much mike and ernest we have another question for you

37:52 how do you see your data center operations evolving in the next five

37:58 years well that's a that's a good one actually

38:03 much like in the in the data center in a fabric environment if you want where you

38:09 have obviously uh an automation solution deployed um there are similar environments uh all around those those

38:17 infrastructures like the sd van area the software defined data center

38:22 approaches that usually pop up cloudified everything that that pops up

38:28 all of those infrastructure areas have a certain networking layer aspect to it

38:34 and incorporate it actually so we would see ourselves developing in the

38:39 direction of integrating those those infrastructures together

38:45 one way or the other it's kind of hard to see and say how this is going to to

38:50 be implemented and of course drive the abstraction over all

38:56 these infrastructures so so you can actually deploy features in a similar manner or

39:01 in a connected manner because it might be that any advanced circuit and then the

39:06 software defined data center tenant might want to talk to some data center parts that you deploy for

39:14 x customer or and that needs to be implemented in in a certain way and if

39:20 you do it in three different areas um that might get complicated so we will

39:25 probably head in look in that direction of course again

39:30 when you when you do it now you have a chance of of having it once you need it

39:36 the immediate need might not be here right now because consciously we decided just to target data center automation um

39:44 at this point in time but i think uh things like that will will pop up in in

39:50 in the next couple of years say five years or something like that and then this is where we where we think

39:55 uh towards to fascinating thank you for that ernest uh

40:02 we've still got a few more questions we want to get through even though we are approaching the end of our show let's try and get through a few more if we can

40:08 uh gurkham let me put this one towards you the question is do csps have different

40:15 strategies for their edge data centers it's not a real difference but

40:22 our research showed that there is strong interest in building new edge data centers from the csvs across all regions

40:28 so despite the know the differences we see in the traditional data centers it is

40:34 quite contrary for the edge you know all operators um they have that they have strong interest um to

40:41 build out um new edge locations for example um they're typically um in the

40:46 regional or metro data centers and in some cases on the cell sites and and we

40:52 are also seeing there are two main drivers behind this um this edge data center investments

40:58 first is the new enterprise edge clouds of course in order to provide new iot

41:03 operational technology and enhance ict services and second is the network edge

41:09 clouds to host you know the 5g functions such as vran and openran

41:14 and interestingly and the csps are focusing on both of these areas at the same time but what is going to be really

41:21 important for csph is that we are looking at a highly distributed cloud

41:27 environment and the network fabric so starting from 20 to 50 edge data centers

41:32 which what csps indicated is first in terms of the size of their age

41:37 footprints but in the long term we expect that this number will go up to hundreds and even thousands of edge

41:44 locations so considering the sheer number and the complex of these age footprints you know

41:50 as well as the nature of the new and advanced services that csps are planning to deliver network automation in these

41:56 edge data centers will be a must-have not a nice to have and this is this is really crucial if csps want to play in

42:03 the edge complete and better chains yeah it's going to be essential thanks kirkum uh ernest question to you are

42:12 there any specific tasks in the data center life cycle that you are

42:17 prioritizing and automating first well there's a couple of obvious ones of course like the onboarding process where

42:24 you where you start uh equipping your data center uh to in certain uh

42:30 tranches of of equipment be it racks or rows or whatever that's an obvious one um our

42:37 first and and one of the more important things is anything targeted towards um i'd call it

42:43 migratory work as i mentioned earlier we have a legacy environment that's still there when when you want to move that over

42:50 or connect to to your current uh modern data center fabric

42:56 those aspects would of course be first uh to to be automated because this is what you will need most over over the

43:04 run of the year or two it takes to to complete your migration cycle from

43:10 current to to new data center fabric so those would be a priority for us

43:16 great thank you ernest for those answers and i think we can get at

43:22 least one more question in um here's a good one uh mike

43:27 is there a role for cloud hyperscalers in all this if so you know how do these cloud public cloud hyperscalers how do

43:33 they fit into this so you leave the controversial ones for herd um so that's great uh hyperscalers

43:39 and csps it's an interesting relationship i think it varies geographically um i

43:44 think uh hyperscalers look like partners uh hyperscalers look like competitors um

43:51 gurkham talked a bit about the sort of the proliferation of edge cloud uh you know talking about pushing it all the

43:56 way out to the cell sites um in those cases the the csp footprint starts to look a little

44:03 bit like a kind of a cloud hotel where we had carrier hotels in the colos to

44:08 provide connectivity if customers end customers like the enterprises that purchase

44:14 sp services if they've got applications that reside in different clouds the question is how do they connect those

44:20 so there is a role with the hyperscalers for sure there's a lot of questions that come from that what's the point of

44:25 demarcation between the service provider and the csp uh who maintains account control

44:31 because it's you know who is a partner today might look like a competitor tomorrow so

44:36 those are really big strategic questions and frankly you know we would need like another hour to talk about that

44:43 even a little bit obviously some of the hyperscalers have built out their own services

44:49 around some of the vnfs that drive you know telco cloud type deployments and so

44:54 there's opportunity to leverage that in some environments with the same kinds of considerations you know where's the point of dmarc how do you monetize where

45:02 do the profit pools get divided i think what people need to do from a hyperscaler perspective is you know go

45:08 in pretty pretty broadly and have really deep conversations about not how to roll

45:13 out a service but how is that going to evolve over the next few years because i think things like the you know what

45:19 what's what's the edge of the managed boundary is that really the the transit gateway or the vpc gateway

45:25 on the public cloud side or does it go into the the application like the cni um in an application instance

45:32 understanding where that point of dmarc is has huge operational implications on what tools have to be used how policy

45:39 and control is centralized how do you scale operations across these hundreds or thousands of of smaller data centers

45:45 that were or distributed edge clouds that we've talked about um so that's what i would look at and then on the

45:51 hyperscaler side the other thing to think about is you know what are the routes to market as you think about carrying those services out how do you

45:57 scale them quickly and rapidly so i think there's just a very rich conversation to have in the space so so

46:04 absolutely in short the hyperscalers have a role absolutely they do just be very thoughtful about what that

46:11 role is because you want to have a deliberate business outcome you don't want to sort of incrementally find

46:16 yourself into a a business position you know two three five years down the road that you hadn't planned for

46:23 great thank you mike we did keep the the trickiest question there till the end but terrific answer thank you very much

46:29 for those comments well unfortunately we are out of time so i would like to thank all of you for

46:36 sharing your views and expertise and helping to answer our audience questions

46:42 and don't forget if you haven't yet watched tuesday's discussion program with gurkham and ben baker who's senior

46:49 director of product marketing over at juniper networks where we unveiled the survey and discussed the results then

46:55 you can still do so just follow the links below this video player window and we've got links to other related

47:02 information it's all there in the video description plenty for you to watch and read

47:08 for now though on behalf of juniper networks the team here at telecom tv and to our guests today thank you very much

47:15 for watching and goodbye

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