Emmeline Wong, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks

Networking for Change - The Future of Data Centers

Networking for Change Data Center
Emmeline Wong Headshot

It’s time to up your network game with Juniper data center solutions

In this video, an exclusive for The Feed, three top Juniper colleagues discuss the future of data centers. One key takeaway? Before you can transform your business, you must first transform your network.

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You’ll learn

  • The challenges keeping data center operators up at night 

  • Important security suggestions to follow in today’s cyber-threat environment  

  • Ways data centers can change to become more sustainable 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Emmeline Wong Headshot
Emmeline Wong
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks 

Guest speakers

Mansour Karam Headshot
Mansour Karam
VP Product Management, Apstra, Juniper Networks
Nick Davey Headshot
Nick Davey
Sr. Product Manager, Juniper Networks 
Scott Sneddon Headshot
Scott Sneddon
Sr. Architect Specialist, Juniper Networks 


0:01 [Music]

0:08 businesses are transforming at record

0:10 speeds and connecting centers of data is

0:12 fundamental to success

0:14 gartner recently said that businesses

0:16 are three times more likely to fail in

0:18 their digital transformation initiatives

0:20 if they don't transform the network

0:22 first

0:23 i'm emily wong and i've brought together

0:25 some brilliant colleagues for discussion

0:27 on the future of data centers

0:29 gentlemen would you like to introduce

0:30 yourself

0:31 i'm onsu karam

0:33 previously

0:34 founder and ceo of abstra currently vp

0:37 products at juniper

0:39 and my name's nick davey i'm the product

0:41 lead for control networking here at

0:42 juniper uh scott sneden i lead the data

0:45 center specialist team at juniper

0:47 networks great it's amazing how we have

0:49 a chance to be here in person

0:51 in this special times right so to kick

0:53 things off i'm sure you have a lot of

0:56 conversations with your customers can

0:58 you share what are their top of mind

0:59 what are their challenges these days

1:03 um

1:04 well you know the there are a lot of

1:06 things that are that are

1:08 kind of

1:09 driving the conversation in a variety of

1:11 ways and it's always different with

1:13 every customer we've talked to

1:14 but in your intro you talked about

1:16 digital digital transformation and sort

1:18 of transforming the network that that

1:20 comes to us in a lot of different

1:21 flavors you know there's

1:23 supply chain issues that are kind of

1:25 forcing customers to think about

1:26 multi-vendor in new ways there's the

1:29 great resignation where people are

1:30 scared of losing their skills and talent

1:32 and

1:33 the single source of truth that exists

1:35 in the mind of the engineer all of that

1:37 is is

1:38 a big worry um but really

1:41 the the lead thought is trying to think

1:44 of ways to make the network contribute

1:46 to the business instead of being an

1:48 afterthought that is just an expense to

1:50 the business so that especially with

1:52 enterprise is sort of a shift that's

1:54 happening that mindset's existed in

1:56 service provider for quite a while

1:58 because when a service provider thinks

1:59 about the network the network is their

2:01 product and so of course the network is

2:03 front of mind

2:04 in their business thinking but for

2:06 enterprise the network's always been

2:08 an afterthought and expense something

2:10 that i have to band-aid um but you know

2:13 the big shift that seems to be happening

2:15 our customers are really starting to

2:16 think more forward about the network as

2:18 being a contributor to the business yeah

2:20 correct i mean think think of everything

2:23 we do today

2:24 we utilize the network as its foundation

2:27 whether we're talking to uh

2:29 to our family you know

2:31 over geographical distance or if uh

2:34 we're shopping online or if we're doing

2:37 a video conference um

2:39 that's this is why i like this garner

2:41 quote right

2:43 every business is digitally transforming

2:45 and you can't digitally transform if you

2:47 don't transform your network first

2:49 so the net network has become this

2:50 critical foundation

2:52 for everything we're doing

2:54 and when you think of how fast we're

2:56 going

2:57 you know the the challenge is how to

3:01 scale the network how to operate the

3:03 network at scale

3:04 at the speed of the business and doing

3:06 it reliably yeah right reliability is

3:09 key here you know there was an ad from

3:11 the 80s

3:13 power is nothing without control and

3:15 this is living up to the expectations of

3:17 customers as well

3:19 the the migration to public cloud and

3:20 hyperscalers has changed the expectation

3:23 about infrastructure provisioning like

3:24 you said it has to move at the speed of

3:26 the business people aren't willing to

3:28 wait anymore for provisioning or

3:29 firewall changes their expectation is

3:32 they can define their applications click

3:34 the button and then have those

3:35 applications launch and be ready for uh

3:37 to use correct

3:39 and like you mentioned a lot of the

3:41 activities have gone online right from

3:43 working remotely shopping kids taking

3:45 classes at home how can it teams ensure

3:48 this smooth customer experience

3:51 the um

3:52 i mean nick touched on one about the

3:55 expectation of of

3:57 infrastructure being delivered instantly

4:00 that's become the norm for the

4:02 application teams

4:03 your application teams can click get

4:06 their machine and they're up and running

4:07 and their app has a place to live the

4:09 network teams haven't quite followed in

4:11 that same motion or at least they're

4:13 they're oftentimes just playing catch-up

4:14 trying to accommodate that motion or

4:16 that activity um and and so

4:20 what we really want to see our network

4:22 customers doing is is thinking about

4:24 delivering a network as a service or

4:26 delivering what they offer as an

4:28 on-demand service you know and if if

4:31 they can integrate directly into the

4:32 tools that those server teams use

4:35 all the better so automation is

4:37 absolutely the key but

4:40 you know to some answers point about

4:41 going fast just because you can strap a

4:44 rocket ship to your car doesn't mean you

4:45 should um

4:47 you know so you need to be able to be

4:49 fast and deliver those services quickly

4:51 and on demand but you have to do it

4:52 right if you make a mistake you've

4:55 slowed everything down or even worse

4:57 exposed yourself to a security flaw that

4:59 you may have never seen coming

5:01 you know and again

5:02 to scott's point

5:04 you can't you know security is top of

5:06 mind for everybody

5:08 it used to be that well you know we we

5:10 we enter commands manually and then that

5:12 operator leaves and then the next

5:13 operator comes in it's like i wonder why

5:16 these commands are there what's the why

5:17 why why is the network configured the

5:20 way it is

5:21 you can't have that today and you know

5:23 you need to know why network is

5:25 configured the way it is

5:26 you need to know that your network has

5:29 the right security posture otherwise

5:31 you're exposing yourself to security

5:33 vulnerabilities which can be

5:34 catastrophic

5:36 yeah but that goes back to the way that

5:37 we were creating networks before it was

5:39 artisanally crafted cli we were

5:41 sculpting uh yes creation exactly

5:44 exactly

5:45 so

5:46 um we can't do that anymore because it's

5:48 not uh like the network and the

5:50 infrastructure is not ours to sculpt and

5:52 control we are exposing that now through

5:54 a set of interfaces to our application

5:56 owners and the the folks who depend on

5:57 that infrastructure so if you're going

5:59 to put power into the hands of the users

6:02 there needs to be like you say control

6:04 around what you're exposing and there

6:05 needs to be um like an architecture

6:08 templates and frameworks that you use to

6:09 make sure that the correct config gets

6:11 applied every single time

6:13 and is there a way we can do a control z

6:17 if oopsy sometimes happens that's a

6:19 that's a that's a really good point you

6:20 know when you talk to network operators

6:22 and they have ptsd they call it the like

6:25 you know the pinky ptsd which is that

6:27 they click on enter

6:29 and then

6:30 like the whole network

6:33 freezes well that's the most terrifying

6:35 thing that you can hear in any operation

6:37 center is a space bar followed by three

6:39 other space bars louder and louder that

6:41 means that you have a problem

6:43 and so yeah rollback is the most

6:45 important consideration when deploying

6:47 um especially when uh when you're uh

6:50 handing the control over to to users and

6:52 application owners they need to have a

6:54 safe and reliable way to roll back to a

6:56 known good state as well yeah and who

6:58 doesn't love that it's like if i make a

7:00 mistake i don't have to worry about

7:03 getting yelled at i can quickly just fix

7:05 it before anyone can notice that i

7:07 actually made a mistake then that's

7:09 great it's like in the plane you have so

7:11 many layers of operating a plane of

7:13 safety right so like the software needs

7:16 to ensure that every step that

7:17 everything you're doing is reliable and

7:20 at the very end even when you

7:22 commit all of it then you have a way to

7:24 get out of it right so like this is what

7:26 you need to think about having all these

7:28 layers of safety yes absolutely so we

7:31 touched a little bit on security but

7:33 with the current geopolitical

7:35 environment we're living in

7:37 um what are some suggestions for dc

7:40 teams and security teams

7:42 i

7:43 you've gotta you've gotta kind of

7:45 approach security a little more

7:46 holistically than we ever did before i

7:48 you know i can't tell you how many times

7:50 and nick you've seen this in kubernetes

7:52 deployments and things where you you

7:54 have an application environment that's

7:55 very very dynamic and changing and since

7:58 the network team and the security team

8:01 don't really have the facility to change

8:03 at the same pace they'll compromise and

8:05 they'll say well okay in your little

8:07 corner over there we'll just leave that

8:09 wide open and you can do whatever you

8:10 want to

8:11 and maybe you build a perimeter or a

8:13 little moat around that castle but if

8:15 something happens inside that castle all

8:18 bets are off and and so you've got to

8:19 approach security

8:21 in the same way that the server teams

8:23 are deploying it it's got to be

8:25 very segmented it's got to be um

8:28 isolating

8:29 like things from other things that

8:31 aren't like things

8:32 but you've also got to make it

8:34 it's got to have the ability to change

8:36 and be dynamic you can't let a network

8:39 engineer just shortcut a security policy

8:42 by saying okay well over there i'm going

8:43 to let them do what they need to do

8:45 because i can't keep up with what

8:46 they're doing you've got to be able to

8:47 keep up with what they're doing so

8:49 infrastructure in the past has always

8:50 facilitated the app owner right so we

8:52 try and make as permissive a set of

8:54 rules as possible so that the

8:56 application works but not too permissive

8:58 such that we let the bad guy in

8:59 and i think the issue comes or the the

9:02 the friction comes from the interactions

9:04 between those two teams so one of the

9:06 best ways to address security is to

9:08 embed it with the app itself right the

9:10 folks who understand the flows and

9:12 mechanics of all of those micro services

9:14 running around the cluster are the

9:15 application owners themselves and so

9:18 security needs to be another resource

9:20 defined with the application just like

9:22 storage just like load balancing just

9:24 like network segmentation security has

9:25 to be embedded into the application

9:28 manifests and actioned directly at the

9:30 point where the application touches the

9:32 network and one of the biggest things we

9:34 can do to help facilitate that is to

9:36 give that network engineer the gift of

9:38 time

9:39 you know good

9:40 powerful automation that makes their

9:42 day-to-day easier lets them have a seat

9:45 have the time to have a seat at the

9:47 table with those application owners to

9:49 make sure that it's designed in from the

9:50 beginning so

9:52 you know we we all talk about automation

9:54 might eliminate jobs no automation is

9:57 going to give those engineers the

9:58 ability to participate and to contribute

10:01 at the front and not just be putting out

10:03 fires at the end or trying to find that

10:06 security flaw that was introduced

10:08 because they didn't do security

10:10 proactive instead of reactive exactly

10:12 right right i mean the only thing i'll

10:15 add

10:15 is that

10:17 you want a a foundation which which

10:20 allows for that level of security you

10:22 know we talk about the single source of

10:24 truth you know the knowledge of what's

10:25 in your network right the knowledge of

10:27 why the network is configured

10:29 the way it is

10:31 the ability to react quickly you know by

10:35 deploying the right security policy

10:37 again you can't do that without having

10:40 the proper layers of software the human

10:42 brain cannot make up cannot just uh have

10:46 doesn't have the ability to do it you

10:48 know at the scale that we need to with

10:50 all of the parameters that one has to

10:52 take into account yeah but that's what

10:53 that's waterfall security that we've

10:55 been practicing in the past which is

10:56 like we get the app ready then we get

10:58 the network ready then we get the

10:59 firewalls ready and then we launch the

11:00 app and that works as long as you can

11:02 execute the whole pipeline every time

11:04 but we don't need to run that as a

11:06 pipeline anymore right you can bundle

11:08 together the notion of connectivity and

11:10 security and put that control into the

11:12 hands of the users if you had a set of

11:14 tools that that gives users

11:17 the the control over firewall policies

11:19 applications at a level that they

11:21 understand

11:22 correct yeah

11:23 now we have so much activity going on

11:25 with data centers sustainability is

11:28 another business requirement so what can

11:31 modern data centers do

11:33 in that respect you know when we think

11:35 about sustainability we also want to

11:37 think about like the power consumption

11:39 of the device that's going in and that's

11:41 all very very important you know we're

11:43 not hardware guys to have that

11:45 conversation but what we can do is say

11:47 listen what we can do is allow you to

11:49 design a more efficient net

11:50 infrastructure choose the right hardware

11:53 for the job if it's a server that needs

11:55 to process that packet use a server to

11:58 process that packet if it's a

11:59 purpose-built piece of network hardware

12:01 that has 400 gig interfaces use that

12:04 device

12:05 but the experience is going to be

12:07 consistent and and the

12:09 process to deploy things is going to be

12:11 consistent across all of those

12:12 absolutely and that way teams can lead

12:14 with innovation instead of being

12:16 constrained by this you know the

12:19 logistical stuff that's right yeah and

12:21 maybe what uh what i'll add is you know

12:22 to me i i was always surprised with how

12:25 many organizations

12:27 avoid upgrading their infrastructures

12:30 because they're worried of causing an

12:32 outage or causing a disruption or they

12:34 don't have a person that knows the cli

12:36 or they don't know the resistance

12:39 they're left with these 10 year old

12:41 devices you know big honking switches

12:44 which today can be replaced with like

12:46 literally one new switches every three

12:48 years you you have the devices that

12:50 deliver the same performance for three

12:52 times less power and three times less

12:54 footprint right so if these same

12:58 softwares that help you automate will

12:59 help you migrate

13:01 right from the old to the new and it's

13:04 that much

13:05 it's that much that's that is very

13:07 helpful to sustainability you know to

13:09 have the ability to upgrade to the new

13:12 so i think that that's that's one area

13:14 the other area that comes to mind is

13:16 that as data centers are getting more

13:17 and more distributed

13:19 flying folks everywhere to go and manage

13:22 their networks you know can have a big

13:24 impact on sustainability rather than

13:27 having the ability to remotely

13:29 operate these networks through

13:31 automation so you have one single point

13:34 of control that from which you can

13:37 manage you know the networks that are

13:41 distributed across many many different

13:43 geographical areas you know you can see

13:45 that having an impact on sustainability

13:48 as well yeah and

13:51 that distribution of compute and network

13:53 is not possible without higher level

13:55 tools that let you kind of stretch your

13:58 operational control because if i'm

14:00 moving my data center into 100 small

14:02 facilities i can't manage that like 100

14:04 small data centers i have to be able to

14:06 have a high level interface that

14:08 reflects the entire state of my

14:10 footprint and then manage it from that

14:12 central point and then like scott was

14:14 saying let the apps teams decide the

14:17 best spot to run the workload

14:19 yeah exactly right so with all these

14:22 technologies uh evolving inside the data

14:25 center realm

14:26 what's

14:27 the next hot thing what excites you

14:30 about the future and what what new

14:32 innovations you think will come or

14:34 you may be working on

14:36 what i find exciting is

14:38 uh the combination of these various

14:40 technologies that we can leverage to to

14:43 improve the life of the operator right

14:44 you know when we talk about

14:46 uh experience first networking it's

14:48 about

14:49 improving the life of the operator and

14:51 then ultimately giving a better

14:52 experience to the user right

14:54 and there are

14:56 so many really cool technologies that we

14:58 can bring together

15:00 beyond just our own our areas and you

15:02 know there is a lot of work going on at

15:04 juniper to kind of bring in these

15:06 these solutions together the best of ai

15:08 the best of machine learning the best of

15:10 distributed systems the best of cloud

15:12 technologies in order to really deliver

15:14 on on that mission

15:16 yeah and i mean from my perspective uh

15:19 it's really exciting watching uh the

15:21 cloud native networking space evolve and

15:24 mature and it's

15:26 really exciting as well to bring some of

15:28 the the tools and technologies we've had

15:30 in traditional networking into the cloud

15:32 native space to show folks how they can

15:34 run their brand new applications with

15:36 the same sets of tools topologies and

15:39 and security that they've uh that

15:41 they're used to in private cloud

15:44 and with that i think this brings to the

15:47 end to today's episode time always feels

15:49 short when we're having a good time but

15:51 we can continue the conversation by

15:54 going to juniper.net slash data center

15:56 or follow us on twitter thank you so

15:58 much for being here today thank you

16:01 [Music]

16:09 you

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