Terry Sweeney, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Techno-Economic Analysis for Automating Your Data Center with Apstra

Industry Voices Data Center
Terry Sweeney Headshot
A slide with a headline that says, “Three-year impact.” The subhead says, “Based on an analysis of Juniper Apstra customer feedback and quantified benefit, cost, risk, and flexibility factors.” On the right are three icons with the text: “ROI 320%,” “BENEFITS $925K,” and “NPV $725K.”

Why Juniper Apstra software belongs in your data center.

This deep-dive webinar looks closely at the technical and business benefits of using Juniper Apstra intent-based data center management software. Included is an analysis of Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study, which examines use cases and financial outcomes. 

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You’ll learn

  • Who will benefit from an intent-driven, automation-first approach to Day 0, 1, 2+ data center operations

  • The business case for investing in a horizontal, multi-vendor platform

  • The economic advantages Juniper customers have achieved after deploying Apstra to run their data center infrastructure

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Terry Sweeney Headshot
Terry Sweeney
Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Guest speakers

Tsih Formuluh Headshot
Tsih Formuluh
TEI Consultant, Forrester
Arun Gandhi Headshot
Arun Gandhi
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Juniper Networks


0:02 hello everyone and thank you for attending today's webinar techno economic analysis for automating your

0:08 data center with abstra sponsored by Juniper Networks before we begin I wanted to cover a few

0:15 housekeeping items on the right hand side of your screen is the Q a if you have any questions during the webcast

0:21 you can type your question into the Q a box and submit your questions to our speakers all questions will be saved so

0:28 if we don't get to answer you we may follow up via email at the bottom of your audience console

0:33 are multiple application widgets you can use if you have any technical difficulties please click on the yellow

0:39 help widget here you can find answers to common questions a copy of today's slide deck is

0:45 available for download in the green resource list widget towards the end of today's presentation we'll ask for your

0:50 feedback a survey will pop open on your screen and will only take one minute to complete your feedback is extremely

0:57 helpful an on-demand version of the webcast will be available about one day after the event and can be accessed

1:03 using the same audience link that was sent to you earlier today I would now like to turn the event over to Light

1:09 reading analyst Terry Sweeney thank you Anna Kate and let me add my

1:16 welcome to this conversation about what you get for what you spend in the data center

1:21 I'm Terry Sweeney contributing Editor to Light reading and I'll be moderating today's discussion

1:27 um as you already know we're doing a deep dive today into Juniper's abstra platform with discussion about how the

1:34 data center must transform to accommodate unprecedented demand and bandwidth

1:40 you'll hear more about an independent study examining the economics and Roi of

1:45 data center Hardware We'll be asking you to respond to a couple of polls and as Anna Kate

1:51 mentioned we're reserving time at the end of the presentation to answer your questions so please use that q a box so

1:57 we get all your questions answered our presenters today include T formula

2:03 uh consultant with Forester research as well as Arun Gandhi senior manager of

2:09 product marketing at Juniper Networks uh but before we hear from them

2:15 uh let's uh go to the the first poll

2:22 um we wanted to get an idea from our audience uh which of these statements

2:28 best describes your own data center footprint strategy so uh go ahead and

2:34 click on one of those if you would we'll give you just a a 30 or 40 seconds here

2:40 to to consider these we're adding new traditional data center sites and

2:45 capacity we're reducing slash consolidating our traditional data center sites we have no

2:52 plans to change the number of our data center sites but are modernizing existing ones

2:57 finally no change to our data center footprint it's business as usual

3:05 Arun Gandhi if you are a betting man any any predictions as to how our audience

3:11 may go with this I would certainly go with the top uh one

3:18 or two you know that would be my position but let's see what the audience has to say all right let's uh let's

3:24 click over to that

3:29 um Aruna looks like you would be well rewarded for your bet

3:35 um the adding new traditional data center sites and capacity is indeed our top answer

3:41 um that's that that's curious um

3:47 with that in mind um Aaron maybe you can get us going with

3:53 talking a bit about why Juniper commissioned this study in the first place

3:59 Teddy thanks for the question and it's great to be on this panel with you and T

4:05 as you know netbooks are foundational to everything we do today kind of increase

4:11 in size beyond anything we have seen before data center networking has become

4:17 more complex in the last few years and this added complexity needs to be managed and as you know well the tools

4:23 we've used you know so far to manage them no longer apply so the past was all

4:30 about bending the infrastructure to the needs of the individual applications but the future is all about building solid

4:37 infrastructure and using the architecture as the foundation and then building applications around it this

4:45 means doing the same thing the same way every time without fail so that your

4:50 infrastructure can be same and the operations can be uniform and truly if

4:55 you see the desire at the core is to simplify operations add Juniper the bet we made is on

5:03 reliability by focusing on the intent based networking at a data center level

5:08 that reliability would be the key to operations going forward and with data

5:15 centers being uh decidedly multi-vendor and again oriented around software

5:20 defined operations uh so Juniper as you know a quiet abstra uh the leader in data center Network

5:27 Management in last year in 2021 January and after was one of the first companies

5:34 to identify that uh operating the data center network was a key design factor

5:40 and I want to impress on the fact that abstra is the only multi-invented DC

5:47 automation solution in the market today and that was a design goal from day one

5:52 and as Juniper we're actually committed to that so now to answer a question

5:57 Terry uh what we've seen is a great traction for abstra from our customers

6:02 across all segments you know you talk about their Enterprises service providers or Cloud providers and all

6:10 geographies as well so through this independent research our goal was to learn about the tangible

6:17 benefits our customers are experiencing with abstra and the results as you will hear from t t are absolutely astounding

6:27 great stuff Arun uh before we go there with t um let's let's maybe grab a little more

6:34 context from our audience with our our second and final poll where we're asking

6:39 our audience about what's the biggest pain point in your data center um insufficient levels of automation

6:45 can't activate new services and features quickly enough supporting multiple vendors is

6:52 challenging budgets seem to run out before the quarter does or or

6:58 um other I I guess we uh could have also put a all of the above here but uh

7:03 um T from Forester research can can we bring you into the the mix here and just

7:10 to talk a little bit about um maybe your own ideas about where the the

7:15 biggest pain Point may be for our audience what's what's your sense of this tea

7:21 oh Derry my my answer is going to be a little skewed because I did the

7:26 interview and this uh the customers the four customers we talked to kind of gave me an idea of what their concerns were

7:33 so I don't know if the other people on The Forum will be having similar issues we've got an inside track then yeah so

7:41 as of right now and I'm thinking most of what they told us was being able to manage multiple uh multi-vendor devices

7:49 within their networks as well as the automation some also talked about configuration

7:54 consistency and stuff like that so let's see what you know people yeah let's see what the results are

8:03 um the the multi-vendor issue is is challenging um T does that match up with the the

8:10 findings from your research yes that was one of the main things that uh all of the customers talk to us about

8:17 they pointed that out as a big value going to abstract the the ability to activate new features

8:24 quickly enough is uh is is right behind that that multi-vendor issue so

8:31 um thank you from our audience thank you for uh weighing in there um

8:37 T can we hear more from you um I'm wondering if you can get us started with some discussion about forester's

8:44 methodology for this total economic impact research that you performed can can you tell us more there

8:54 thank you very much Terry um again everyone good morning and welcome to this webinar my name is tifam

9:01 Lu and I'm a consultant on the forest total economic impact team

9:06 so everything I present today uh and the answers I give would you during this

9:12 webinar will be an Abridged you know version of the full study that we did which is a Forester study economic

9:18 impact of juniper abstract more detailed disclosures are included in the full studies so

9:25 please find the entire study and you'll get everything that we got from these customers

9:33 so Forester research has shown that uh over 90 percent of I.T decision makers

9:38 find Value in business case so the Forester model goes beyond just a

9:44 total cost of ownership or return on investment models common in the industry

9:50 we add risk and flexibility into our models so that we can have a

9:55 comprehensive view of an I.T business decision

10:02 so to answer your question in a little more detail Terry you know TI is a methodology that we use at Forester to

10:09 articulate and justify the value of our technology totally economic impact consists of four

10:15 components so we do look at the benefits that the added value business benefit to

10:22 an organization experiences we look at costs these are essentially The Upfront and

10:29 ongoing costs of adopting that technology in this case you know uh abstra we look at flexibility

10:36 yeah at Forester we we uh we Define flexibility

10:42 as a what helps to incorporate the Strategic value of future Investments enabled by

10:48 the original investment so now that you've invested in abstra what other possibilities can your organization find

10:55 going forward then of course we add risk which uh across all three variables I just

11:01 mentioned we are just for riskiness and uncertainty of an investment so everybody will not be able to have the

11:07 same benefits as each other that's why we put risk into our methodology

11:13 so what we basically did for abstra was we took a multi-step approach first we

11:21 spoke to forrester's internal experts who have you know versed in this industry then we talked to Juniper's subject

11:27 matter experts to learn more about the value proposition of abstra next we interviewed four Juniper

11:33 customers who have been utilizing the solution for at least one year

11:38 from those interviews we developed a financial model and then

11:44 wrote up the case study which is available on Juniper's website again we

11:49 encourage everybody to go down the downloaded look at the entire study then see how you know they can adapt it to

11:56 their unique situation

12:01 so I think that gives a general overview then theory of you know what we did for

12:06 just being able to bring this study together

12:12 walk us through some of the other key findings from the research that you did with customers

12:19 okay uh before I actually go into that theory uh as you can see here uh we did

12:24 talk to customers from you know very diverse Industries right we we talked to people in uh energy we talked to

12:31 somebody who was in insurance and risk Consulting and so very diverse pool of

12:37 customers that we did talk to and one of them actually told us that

12:44 you know uh as you can see this slide captures the sentiment of most of the customers we

12:49 interviewed this is what a data center architect at an energy company told us

12:56 most talked about the cost of you know Time Savings as shaded with operation tasks they also like the configuration

13:02 standardization like I told you from that beginning question on there so this is some of the things that we actually

13:07 heard them say so when it comes to results we actually found that you know in after our

13:14 financial analysis that uh we got about 320 return on investment

13:22 benefits of 925 000 and a net present value of 725 000 over three years

13:36 to go into a little more detail on exactly how this benefits that show up you know let's start up with uh you know

13:44 after onboarding abstract the Quantified benefits observed from this investment fell into four pillars

13:50 so we had design and planning cost savings deployment cost savings

13:57 data center operations cost savings and tools replacement cost savings

14:03 let's pick in a little more detail about each of them

14:09 interviews said that uh abstra helped reduce the number of FTE hours used for

14:15 Preparation design tasks they use abstra they said abstract is a templatized and

14:22 employees just selected options thereby saving lots of time the composite organization in this case

14:29 that we started uh witnessed seventy three thousand dollars in present value savings over three

14:35 years the next benefit they talked about as well

14:41 was a day one deployment cost savings they said with abstra

14:48 configuring is done centrally in the you know interface and they push out to the

14:54 researches this along with less focus on cable ordering also saved FTE hours in the

15:02 deployment stage of a data center this study discovered that a composite

15:07 organization saved over 72 000 dollars over three years as well

15:15 the next benefit we also saw Terry was a operations cost savings

15:23 interviewers told us that abstra made it possible to delegate work

15:29 originally done by senior level Engineers to junior level technicians

15:34 the abstract solution supports multiple vendor environments and reduce the need for vendors Specialists so you know they

15:43 gave us the examples of in the past each vendor that they worked with they had to hire a specialist to actually come work

15:49 on the devices for that particular for that particular vendor to model this particular benefit

15:56 Forrester calculated the difference in costs between senior level engineers and lower level technicians in an abstract

16:02 environment Forester adjusted this benefit down by a risk factor of 15 percent

16:09 we we did that risk because we recognized that uh like the diversity of operation engineer skills

16:16 set within organizations data center complexity

16:21 configuration consistency on devices within data centers and other things like that you know

16:27 this can make the benefit you know relative to different companies so the

16:33 composite organization realized a three-year present value of 448 000 just from you know day two plus

16:40 savings and the final benefit that you know we were able to quantify for this study

16:49 was in two's replacement interviewees told Forrester that uh they

16:54 replaced an average of two Legacy tools when they switch to abstra

17:00 they said abstra Hub with automation configuration consistency and has an

17:05 ability to keep the network up and running replacing Legacy tools showed present

17:12 value Savings of you know 358 000 over three years

17:18 Terry I hope this answers your question and more details can be found from reading the full study push uh you know

17:25 post that on Juniper's website again that will be where I always refrain more detail down there

17:30 thanks T I'm I'm imagining there also were some unquantifiable benefits that

17:36 that you came across can you talk about other benefits maybe that customers identified in data center management

17:44 yeah thank you very much Terry for for bringing that up because uh even though I talked about these four benefits these

17:50 were the ones that the customers could actually put numbers to them when they talked to us but they did give us a

17:56 whole bunch of other things that at that moment they couldn't quantify we did not have you know all the time to go through

18:03 looking in every detail but each of them said there were some extra benefits here and some of the examples that they gave

18:09 us was you know scalability of data center networks you know interviewers told for us that

18:15 abstract made it easier to add or reduce parts so this makes it easier and

18:20 cheaper to scale data centers you know up and down depending on how you actually want to scale them

18:26 the second one they mentioned was a they also talked about that multivendor

18:31 device management capability right so we've mentioned that a couple of times they didn't quite quantify that but

18:37 there's like lots of savings actually the fact that they could manage various you know vendors within the same

18:43 framework as long as uh you know they have that backbone of abstra managing everything

18:49 then they talked about configuration consistency one of the things we actually heard here

18:54 you know with customers who were you know Global said you know you go to their different data centers in

19:00 different continents the configuration is different so actually being able to show consistency was difficult but with

19:07 abstra it's very possible for them to you know you build a configuration in the central abstract unit you can push

19:14 it out to all the devices wherever they are in the world and there's that consistency making it easier to manage

19:20 their data centers one other thing they also mentioned which was important to them was you know

19:27 operating system management and upgrading right so in the past like the

19:32 tours they will have to go into individual devices to update their operation systems in the but now with

19:38 abstra you know only a few could be done at the time and

19:44 in bid networks it took weeks or more to upgrade device operating systems this

19:49 always cause problems like downtime or other connectivity issues so with abstra

19:54 all devices can be identified and the operating system update pushed out at

20:00 once this is faster efficient and more accurate since abstra does validation

20:06 automatically to tell if the configuration is going to work with that device version or not so you know right

20:12 up front if I walk away I'm doing something else this is going to work or if rather than spending a few hours come

20:18 back and there's you know the default order so once more again Terry I will sing my

20:24 old song go to the old story to the whole study and you'll see even more detail back in each of these you know

20:30 things that we talked about here great stuff T thanks for walking us through both the direct and indirect

20:36 benefits um of this data center platform um Arun Gandhi of juniper um this is

20:44 going to be gratifying to hear um tell us more about what your reaction was when you you saw these results

20:53 well uh thanks t for sharing all the interesting data because it's always it

20:58 always gets me excited listening to uh listen to the real customers and what they have seen but obviously we were

21:05 very excited to hear these results uh Terry and I'm sure you'll agree with me that these results uh prove one more

21:12 time that we stand way above competitive products in the market as well uh we

21:17 we've been hearing plenty of anecdotal comments from our customers in several forums and their initial excitement once

21:26 they've started to use and explore abstra but achieving a 320 Roi and is

21:32 less than a six months of payback time is simply fantastic and not to miss uh there are several

21:41 additional benefits that we uncovered in his research that the customers were not even able to quantify them so I think we

21:48 just excited just jazzed up about these results uh and thanks to Forrester for going above and beyond here

21:57 um looks like we've got ways for our our viewers to uh download or access the

22:03 report and anything more that you want to say about those so Teddy the report is available of

22:09 course as he mentioned it's it's there on the slide as well uh please download it you can also reach out to and by the

22:16 way we'll be sending this the report as well as the webinar recording after the uh after the webinar and also you can

22:24 reach out to your account team for for the report we also provide you with a business analysis tool for TCO analysis

22:31 customized to your environment and I would suggest reaching out to your

22:36 account manager or abstra sales at juniper.net for more details

22:44 thanks for that that's uh that's helpful we're going to leave this up uh while we go into the the Q a so uh those who want

22:53 to access it can have sufficient time to do that um before we dive in on the question and

22:59 answer part of the event just want to remind our audience members uh that to participate in the Q a you'll just type

23:06 your question into the text box located to the right of the presentation window um just click that q a icon at the

23:13 bottom of your screen super intuitive um this is also a good time to introduce

23:19 Emmeline Wong as a senior product marketing manager from juniper abstra who will be joining us for the Q a

23:26 section as well welcome Emmeline um

23:32 Tia I'm going to toss the first question to you um there there's a phrase that popped up

23:37 in your research and possibly in your comments help us unpack the definition of this term composite organization what

23:44 what is that oh thank you very much Terry um within

23:50 Forester what we try to do with these studies is that uh we just don't go to one company and hear what they say right

23:56 and then we come out into the wall and say that is what it is so we actually go

24:01 out and we interview more than one customer in this case uh like we showed you during the presentation we talked to

24:07 four customers and those customers were very diverse you know energy companies insurance and finance companies and all

24:14 across the board and these companies too were varied in sizes of their data

24:19 centers right so I think one of them had like a 14 data centers in production and

24:26 another one had about six so they were varied as well so what we do at Foresters we now it's bad at bad science

24:33 we we take all of those uh feedback that we have from all of those companies and

24:39 from one composite organization that's where we come with that and then we look through and we build a financial model

24:45 saying you know so I really don't want to use average because it's not completely average but

24:52 we we play for all kinds of different factors to actually make sure that when we come out to the marketplace we're

24:57 saying these are the benefits customers are saying they are seeing from using abstra we we have double checked our

25:04 work and that's where that composite organization comes from thank you for that

25:10 um Arun turning back to you um let's let's talk scale how how much does the abstra solution scale

25:18 um give us an idea there sure that's a great question so so Teddy

25:25 uh scale has got two directions right small and large here and the absolute

25:31 solution was the built ground up for scale so in fact our first customer was

25:37 Yahoo Japan that deployed an early release of abstra across the data

25:42 centers with hundreds of switches and it now scales a thousand and in some cases tens of thousands so as you see we build

25:50 the architecture from the beginning to fit the largest data centers so that we

25:56 can scale with the customers and as they grow their deployments so that's from the uh from the large

26:02 customers deployments and then on the other hand we have the the smallest deployment that we support what we call

26:08 the collapse spine which is essentially one spine connected to two leads

26:17 very good um thanks for that everyone um we've got another question here about

26:23 how data centers should evolve to enable 5G

26:29 um which I'm I'm happy to take a swing at um from from where I said it it's clear

26:35 that data centers are preparing for the biggest exponential step up uh in

26:41 available bandwidth um since the the big fiber gains of uh the late 90s early 2000s um and

26:50 um 5G is only going to accelerate the the bandwidth Bonanza that that comes

26:56 flooding across these platforms um server connections are uh going from 50

27:01 gigabits per Lane to 100 gigabits switching bandwidth uh 256 terabit per

27:09 second um those 800 gigabit plugable modules that may have seemed like Overkill just

27:14 a few years ago are poised to become standard so in tandem with all this

27:20 analysts are already seeing more Enterprise content originating from The

27:26 Edge um some predict that by 2025 75 of work content will come from The Edge Network

27:33 which uh is up 10 from just a few years ago in 2018 so

27:39 data like the workforce is is getting more distributed which means the data

27:44 center has to be ready for this again this torrent of Mega data that that 5G

27:50 will accelerate and and also transport back to the data center for

27:55 storage analysis and and processing um so in that vein platforms like abstra

28:02 will will help provide the the capacity the management and the intelligence

28:08 for the both the data center and the edge architectures that servers providers choose to deploy

28:18 a question here about how abstra supports Brownfield deployment would you

28:24 like to address that sure I'll take it I'll take that take that the question often asked uh

28:32 short answer is yes and uh customers can absolutely use app store to automate

28:39 their existing data center Fabric and in fact they'll gain major benefits when they're too again I'd suggest reaching

28:47 out to your account manager or apps for sales at Jennifer and then you can get more details about you know how to

28:54 migrator data center current data center to App Store

28:59 very good uh T turning back to you um is is the abstra model that Forester created

29:06 um going to be made publicly available say on the website

29:15 T if you're talking we can't hear you uh I'm I'm assuming that they are

29:23 talking about the financial model that will build the benefits out of would that be right I believe so yes yeah so the model

29:31 itself no would not be available on the website but the study is what is available on the website for people to

29:38 look into the way we write these studies is we kind of explain to some level how

29:43 we went about the process of putting this together so somebody who reached to the model may be able to in

29:49 collaboration with a the TCO you know analysis through Juniper be able to

29:55 figure out a way of you know determining how this will benefit them but the short answer is that model

30:02 itself is proprietary it will not be on the website sorry thanks for that um any any additional

30:08 light you can shed on the the benefits of of app store was there other things that maybe didn't fit maybe so neatly in

30:15 the categories that you had uh I don't one of the the things with

30:24 with us yet at Forest uh Terry was like the unquantified benefits that I told

30:29 you about it you know we have to deal with time and being able to you know um

30:34 talk to the right people in deep into the organization to actually bring numbers from those but I think

30:41 there's a lot of benefit in those because each of them actually told us you know if you actually look at the

30:47 consistency of you know being able to have configuration consistency it's worth something it's just so happened

30:53 that within this study and the time frame we had we could not dig into all of that so

30:58 just look at those unquantified benefits and you know within each environment you can see how much benefit they can be out

31:06 of those so I think this the return for this can be even a little bigger than

31:11 what we presented if we were able to quantify more of these things thanks T

31:16 um around turning back to you excuse me um does abstra support three-stage and

31:22 five-stage evpn vxlan reference designs only what can you tell us there

31:29 sure um uh with the new release actually with

31:34 4.1.1 abstract can support all reference designs all their data center reference

31:40 designs and obviously previously the App Store was opinionated opinionated and we

31:46 we could only support three and five stage and evpn and collapse fabric but with 4.1 4.1.1 it's all uh any any

31:55 different designs will be supported please look out for a launch happening on September 15th and if you are an

32:01 existing customer of juniper you can get an early release in your hands and

32:07 experience the cutting it features coming in 4.1.1 and once again the release date is September 15th please

32:13 look out thanks for that um and with that we uh we are bumping up

32:19 against our time that's uh that's all the time we have for questions today um my sincerest thanks to both Arun

32:26 Gandhi of juniper and T formula from Forrester research Light reading appreciates your time and

32:32 expertise on data center economics and and how well build to to manage the mega

32:38 bandwidth uh Evolution coming our way thank you as well to our sponsor Juniper

32:45 as well as do everyone in the audience we appreciate you joining us for this light reading webinar techno economic

32:51 analysis for automating your data center with abstra again thank you for your attention and

32:57 participation see you again soon Teddy thanks for orchestrating it thank

33:03 you thanks Steve for all the analysis and the report appreciate it yeah I appreciate you guys having us it was a

33:10 great ride so thank you very much and we hope you know we presented the the study

33:15 as best as we can again everybody who's on the you know on the webinar just go

33:20 on the website look at at it in more detail there's way more in there than what we could have covered in 30 minutes

33:27 thank you totally totally into a spot on thank you thanks Terry thanks everybody

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