Edge Cloud Helps Cloudflare Build Better, More Secure Web Infrastructure | Juniper Global Summit
Stress makes networks stronger.
Over 25 million internet properties run on Cloudflare’s infrastructure, which ensures reliable internet access to businesses of all sizes. Stopping 5 billion cyberthreats a day is not for the faint of heart. Watch this Juniper Global Summit chat with Nitin Rao, SVP of Infrastructure at Cloudflare, to hear how Cloudflare protects corporate applications and is rethinking how to design corporate networks.
Traffic patterns that are changing the internet
How Cloudflare protects its own network
Why stress makes networks stronger
Who is this for?
00:07 -Hello everyone, my name is Jason Fritch.
00:09 I'm Vice President of Global Sales for the Cloud Provider
00:11 segment here at Juniper Networks.
00:13 Joining me today is Nitin Rao,
00:15 who is Senior Vice President of Infrastructure at Cloudflare.
00:17 Nitin, welcome, and thanks for joining us today.
00:21 -Great to chat with you, Jason.
00:23 Juniper has been a terrific partner, so appreciate getting to speak with you.
00:27 -Oh, absolutely. Me too, I'm excited.
00:29 As you mentioned, Juniper and Cloudflare,
00:31 we've partnered together for a number of years.
00:33 I'm quite certain most folks joining us today
00:36 know of Cloudflare and how you help ensure excellent and reliable access to
00:40 global internet for businesses of all sizes around the world.
00:43 You folks have built a global platform through the incubation
00:46 of data centers that support the security and performance of the internet,
00:49 but then can you tell us a bit more about the
00:51 scope and scale of Cloudflare's business and the network that powers it?
00:55 -Sure. It's been a real privilege to
00:59 help grow the Cloudflare network with partners like Juniper.
01:03 There's a substantial portion of the internet through Cloudflare every day.
01:07 More than 25 million internet properties run on Cloudflare's infrastructure,
01:13 the global network spans more than 200 cities across 100 countries,
01:19 and we stop about north of 50 billion cyber threats every day.
01:26 It's been really exciting to see how we can not only protect
01:31 infrastructure facing the internet but increasingly also protect corporate applications,
01:37 protect the teams and remote workers accessing anything connected to the internet.
01:43 -What's been so impressive watching Cloudflare's incredible growth over the years,
01:48 has been the rate of that growth.
01:50 Is there anything that you believe has fueled your unique
01:55 growth in the last few years that differentiates you folks?
01:59 -Well, one thing that I'm especially proud of, is that we really represent
02:04 the breadth of the internet, and so you could be a blogger on our free plan,
02:12 a small and medium business paying us $200 a month,
02:17 or you could be one of 17% of the Fortune 1000 companies
02:22 that run their critical infrastructure on Cloudflare.
02:27 I think it's seeing that breadth of the internet
02:30 helps make the service better for everybody.
02:34 In many ways, it's similar to a neighborhood watch,
02:38 where shared threat intelligence helps ensure that every company no matter
02:43 where they are, is safer together.
02:47 -Absolutely. One thing that's impressed me in observing your business
02:50 and how you engage your customers is how easy you make those individual customers,
02:54 whether it's the smallest customer, the largest customer, engage you and onboard with you.
02:58 There's no differentiation there.
03:00 Then, a lot of talk about how traffic patterns are changing
03:03 on the internet in the last few years,
03:05 the proliferation of devices and data, content,
03:08 and how that impacts the network.
03:09 Industries and workforces are moving to remote work, especially in the last year.
03:13 Can you tell me a little bit about Cloudflare as you are
03:15 on these trends and the effect that they're having on the network?
03:21 I haven't been to an office in at least a year,
03:25 much like I'm guessing you and most people.
03:28 Even so, for our own business, onboarded hundreds of new employees,
03:33 and like lot of companies, we've had to rethink
03:37 how you design corporate networks.
03:40 We don't, for instance, give them VPN seats, Cloudflare employees,
03:45 remote workers, contractors.
03:47 Instead actually, connect to the Cloudflare network,
03:51 to the nearest data center.
03:53 We use a zero trust model for how we secure our global infrastructure.
03:59 We actually offer this to customers, and so they're the smallest
04:04 and largest of companies use Cloudflare's zero trust model to
04:09 keep business going especially, close to my heart is using a
04:14 number of pharmaceutical companies able to do daily work,
04:18 connecting using Cloudflare's infrastructure.
04:23 -Any observations about the global market or emerging
04:26 markets in terms of traffic patterns or increase in activity?
04:31 -If you're a network engineer, April 2020 was a particularly interesting month,
04:39 not only because we were each personally living through the
04:42 change and uncertainty that was going on around the world,
04:45 but also because for networks like Cloudflare, we added more traffic in 12 weeks
04:50 than we did in the prior 12 months.
04:53 Stress makes networks stronger.
05:01 Not only for Cloudfare, but really across the network engineering community.
05:05 We ended up, in many ways, being stronger because of that.
05:12 I'm grateful for how as an industry, we came together to absorb the
05:18 growth in traffic on the internet.
05:21 As one example, we had equipment landing in places like Brazil,
05:26 in India, and Russia and the internet was relying on us getting
05:31 that equipment up and running.
05:34 It's a privilege to help make that happen and it really took a village.
05:40 It also I think forced companies to really rethink the way they
05:44 design their networks, upgrading a traditional VPN box in an office.
05:51 That model goes only so far.
05:53 You have to really rethink access authentication.
05:59 A number of companies are forced to go faster with
06:02 their digital transformation because of the last year.
06:06 -Absolutely. I also think that the last year has just reminded everybody
06:11 whether you're here in this industry or not, the importance
06:15 and the relevance that the network plays and how critical it is to
06:19 all connections and connecting everybody.
06:22 Kudos to your ability and for the last year as well.
06:25 I spent a lot of time in logistics just-- Nitin, as you mentioned,
06:28 supporting customers to get products and get components
06:32 to where they needed to be as quickly as possible. It was hard as ever.
06:36 I love that with you guys.
06:38 This week at our summit, we're talking a lot about
06:41 Juniper's true north which is experience-first networking.
06:44 For our cloud-provider customers, that's not just about hardware or
06:48 delivering functions or features but providing products and
06:52 solutions that rapidly integrate into how you operate
06:55 and how cloud providers operate their network
06:57 so that it will enable you to do what you do faster and better.
07:01 What's your view on this in terms of how Cloudflare ensures
07:04 a great end-user experience for your customers?
07:08 -First, at the outset, I really appreciate that Juniper cares about
07:12 experience-oriented networking.
07:15 That's really important.
07:18 There are a handful of companies
07:20 that play an outsized role in keeping the internet safe, fast, reliable.
07:25 It's really important that we cooperate to make sure
07:30 the internet experience is as seamless as possible.
07:33 I think there's an opportunity around reliability.
07:37 Even something like route leaks really ought to be a thing of the past.
07:41 It's been terrific seeing networks partnering with companies like
07:46 Juniper and Cloudflare, adopt standards like RPKI and do the work
07:51 to help ensure we're safer together.
07:54 Also, it's been great to see really the democratization
07:58 of where people write code.
08:02 Once upon a time, even if you deployed code to the
08:06 cloud, it typically run in Ashburn or Miami or São Paulo.
08:10 Increasingly, you should be able to write code and it should
08:12 just run in the network in every corner of the world,
08:16 be it Reykjavik or Mumbai, India.
08:19 It's really great to see how the network is the computer and more
08:26 and more developers out of the gate
08:28 should have access to the largest networks in the world.
08:32 That's only possible because of the various companies
08:35 that cooperate behind the scenes to help make that so.
08:39 -It is nice. You mentioned it earlier, but Cloudfare does walk the walk in
08:42 that aspect of just your business model that we talked about, of
08:47 just a network experience and a fast network and access to a
08:51 great network should be something that's available to everybody.
08:55 You folks are certainly driving that as well.
08:59 Then, could you tell us a little bit more about Juniper's role
09:01 within Cloudflare's network, please?
09:04 -Juniper has been an important partner in building out the
09:07 Cloudflare network from the earliest days in our journey
09:11 and we're grateful for the partnership.
09:14 Cloudflare's infrastructure in north of 200 cities across 100 countries
09:20 and in many of those cities, we're spread across
09:23 multiple interconnection points.
09:26 We have routing and switching hardware.
09:31 This equipment both helps us transport the internet traffic
09:37 we sit in front, but also secure the internet traffic we sit in front.
09:42 Juniper's a valued partner in that.
09:46 -You touched earlier about the heroes within your team,
09:50 of the network engineers, that's changed a lot in the last couple of years.
09:54 What do you think network professionals need to grow their skills?
09:59 What does it mean to be a network engineer at Cloudflare?
10:04 I think you need to be perennially curious.
10:11 For some network engineers at a company like Cloudflare,
10:15 that means running a global network.
10:17 For other folks, that might mean learning major hyper-scale
10:23 clouds like AWS or Azure or Google,
10:26 but you have to certainly rethink your skillset.
10:31 I think the way we approached problems like
10:35 designing an MPLS, moving data from point A to point B,
10:39 how you think about MPLS, how you think about WAN is going to change,
10:43 and so it's important to keep adapting.
10:45 Then finally, if you think of compute storage and network,
10:49 the lines between those three will continue to blur,
10:52 and so the more that network engineers and network architects aren't siloed
10:57 from their colleagues designing servers, but actually can
11:00 learn from each other, I think a world where servers are more networking
11:05 gear and networking gear have the transparency and control of servers
11:09 is a good world for everybody.
11:12 -I think we're seeing that, and you folks are definitely on the
11:15 leading edge of that as well, but we're seeing that across the
11:17 cloud community, that direction is already in flight, certainly.
11:23 What do you think is next for your industry?
11:25 What's next for Cloudflare?
11:28 -The thing, and in many ways, it feels companies like Cloudflare
11:33 are collaboratively becoming the operating system for the internet,
11:39 and so I'm really excited about the developer who's starting off right now
11:44 right now and has the resources of a big internet giant,
11:48 and can build tomorrow's great technology company, from the ground up.
11:54 I think you can rethink the way computer runs around the word.
11:58 You can rethink storage, you can rethink databases.
12:02 It's such really a privilege to see a new generation of companies being born,
12:08 and companies like Juniper and Cloudflare get the
12:11 opportunity to assist behind the scenes, and that's very exciting.
12:16 -Yes, and by doing that, you're going to enable the
12:19 empowerment of new business models as well absolutely.
12:23 Nitin, I want to thank you so much for your time today.
12:25 We certainly appreciate your insights, and I have to tell you,
12:28 I've known you for a few years now and we've negotiated some deals and
12:31 you're a smart and tough negotiator.
12:33 I love being on this side of the table with you and collaborating with you.
12:37 Thanks so much for your time and your insights.
12:40 -It feels like everything we do, we really do,
12:44 not on behalf of our company, but on behalf of the internet.
12:48 I'm grateful for partners that support us on our journey.
12:52 -Thanks so much Nitin. Appreciate your time.
12:54 -Thanks so much.