Brad Howarth, ITNews

ITNews: How Aston Martin is Harnessing High Performance Networking With Juniper

Brad Howarth headshot
The screen shot features the host from ITNews, Brad Howarth, on the left with his picture in a square. On the right is Aston Martin’s Darryl Alder,  also with his picture in a square. The two images are side by side to show they are speaking to each other.

Aston Martin is going full speed ahead thanks to its partnership with Juniper 

Network architect Darryl Alder shares with ITNews Digital Nation how the iconic British car manufacturer Aston Martin is working with Juniper to harness the power of high performance networking and compete in the modern automotive industry. 

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You’ll learn

  • Why Aston Martin upgraded its switching architecture to Juniper

  • Why Aston Martin chose Juniper as a vendor above other competitors 

  • Why Aston Martin subsequently selected Juniper as the partner for its new wireless environment 

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Brad Howarth headshot
Brad Howarth

Guest speakers

Darryl Alder Headshot
Darryl Alder
Network Architect, Aston Martin


0:02 [Music]

0:04 hello i'm brad howath for it news the

0:07 name aston martin conjures ideas of high

0:09 performance and precision engineering so

0:11 it should be no surprise that these same

0:13 ideas carry through technology this

0:15 iconic british sports car company uses

0:18 to support its manufacturing and sales

0:20 operations global car makers have been

0:22 at the pioneers of digitally connected

0:24 systems with modern motor vehicles

0:26 resembling supercomputers on wheels

0:29 so when aston martin came to upgrade its

0:31 network switching it chose a supplier at

0:33 you could meet its demands for today and

0:35 into the future to talk about aston

0:37 martin and its evolution as a digital

0:39 business i'd like to welcome network

0:41 architect daryl older daryl thank you so

0:43 much for joining us hi brad absolute

0:45 pleasure thank you for inviting me

0:47 so darryl tell me why is it the

0:49 technology is so important to us martin

0:52 you said in your introduction there that

0:53 uh aston martin has this uh

0:56 high performance uh precision uh brand

0:59 uh another way that we're perceived is

1:02 that uh luxury rich heritage uh you

1:06 often hear about uh the james bond the

1:08 db5 and uh and all the classic vehicles

1:12 from there however that doesn't mean

1:15 that we don't have to compete in a

1:17 modern market so the digital

1:20 technology absolutely helps us with with

1:23 the modern technologies the modern uh

1:26 competition in

1:28 in the automotive industry

1:30 so how mature would you say that aston

1:32 martin's digital capabilities were today

1:35 i think we've come an awfully long way

1:37 from some of the legacy systems that

1:39 we've got and some of the uh the on-prem

1:43 solutions that we've been managing for a

1:45 number of years now um the technologies

1:48 come along in terms of its uh cloud

1:51 strategy for example

1:53 we're really uh keen on some of the

1:56 newer technologies that are coming along

1:58 on the horizon um one of our guiding

2:01 principles is to automate network where

2:04 possible and uh and we can talk about

2:06 that at length of of how we're going to

2:09 uh to do that but um i think um we've

2:12 come a long way we've got a long way to

2:13 go as well um but it's um it's really

2:16 exciting time so i'm really looking

2:17 forward to to the future there is a data

2:20 user what kind of demands does s martin

2:22 place on its network that's a great

2:24 question um so historically i'm from a

2:28 service provider background and service

2:30 provider is very much a bandwidth

2:33 orientated

2:35 network aston martin is different we

2:37 need to have

2:39 highly available networks with very low

2:41 latency um to give you a bit of an

2:44 example our production team have

2:46 something known as tac time

2:49 and that basically means that a vehicle

2:53 throughout its production journey um

2:55 stays at a particular station and has a

2:58 particular task carried out on on that

3:00 vehicle

3:02 the technicians have a certain amount of

3:03 time to do that um it's a lot longer

3:06 than a lot of automotive but it's still

3:07 a limited time um and they need to be

3:10 able to hit their targets so one

3:13 particular task that they might do is

3:16 take a a wheel nut for example and it

3:19 needs to be

3:20 tightened to a very specific torque

3:22 setting um that torque setting needs to

3:25 be recorded against the technician

3:28 against the station that it carry was

3:30 carried out on the tool that was used

3:32 the date and time and so on so all those

3:34 little pieces of information that that

3:36 comprised the entire vehicle need to go

3:39 back onto the network quickly in order

3:42 to move that production line along

3:44 that's probably the main um

3:46 requirement of our networks so the low

3:49 latency and the high response uh times

3:53 that's great now i understand that

3:55 juniper is playing a key role in the

3:56 network can you give me an understanding

3:57 that of how you first brought that

3:59 company into the business juniper um

4:01 were selected a few years ago now

4:04 they've been they've been with us a

4:05 while and um we select brands to work

4:08 with that

4:10 align well to our vision okay so we've

4:14 got a lot of partnerships not just in it

4:17 but in the whole business really you

4:18 know different manufacturing um

4:20 suppliers and vendors and so on but

4:23 every single one of those vendors we

4:25 select

4:27 from a vision point of view they must

4:29 share our

4:30 vision um and we felt that juniper

4:33 really did that

4:34 for us they they have an example of

4:37 reducing complexity well that's

4:39 absolutely key for us we're a very small

4:41 team we can't really be bogged down with

4:43 too much complexity in our network um so

4:47 we

4:48 we we enjoy that uh that vision as well

4:51 with with juniper and it's the same for

4:53 a lot of our vendors as well so uh yeah

4:56 i think that um

4:59 juniper aligned well to that

5:01 um i think the other good thing about

5:03 juniper is that um it lends itself to

5:08 automation and network programmability

5:11 um really like the idea that

5:13 juniper is a api

5:16 driven company we can then develop some

5:19 of our own

5:20 dashboards and uh monitoring systems and

5:23 scripts that suit our needs juniper

5:26 really sort of uh

5:28 played well to that vision so how has

5:30 juniper supported the growth and

5:31 transformation of the business over time

5:33 we feel that juniper really kept up with

5:36 industry trends um it's allowed us to

5:39 maintain our network and it's kept us

5:41 aligned together we haven't really

5:43 deviated from from one another's sort of

5:45 paths and visions i think an example of

5:48 that would be something like uh in

5:51 our two main production facilities

5:53 gaiden and some athen we have our own

5:57 on-prem data center so

6:00 not to contradict what i said about

6:01 cloud first but

6:02 there's always going to be some internal

6:05 systems that that

6:07 cannot migrate to the cloud and so for

6:09 that reason we do have a an on-prem uh

6:12 presence without with our own internally

6:15 managed data centers um one thing we

6:18 really like is the fact that those two

6:20 data centers can play disaster recovery

6:23 to one another um with the juniper-based

6:26 networking we can do things like uh

6:29 not getting too technical but vxlan

6:31 between the two so those two data

6:33 centers sort of almost appear as one it

6:35 means then that disaster recovery is

6:38 in theory not quite there yet but in

6:40 theory is quite seamless in in

6:43 how we operate that so uh i think that's

6:46 uh that's one of the main benefits uh

6:48 another one that we often talk about is

6:51 scalability then juniper really offers

6:54 um some good scalability we've always

6:57 talked about our main sort of core

7:00 switching we base it on the ex4300

7:04 they're really good for scaling virtual

7:06 chassis up and down

7:08 the reason we like scalability in our

7:10 network is because

7:11 getting back to the automotive industry

7:13 it's quite a fluid industry we often

7:16 have projects that uh come and go quite

7:18 quickly nothing to do with

7:21 bad management or anything it just means

7:23 that a project was only there for six

7:25 months say whilst the particular aspect

7:27 of a vehicle was was developed and then

7:30 that project then uh closes down another

7:33 one comes along so at one point i might

7:36 have 10 users in an office now i need a

7:38 hundred now i need 200 and now i'm back

7:41 down to 20. so a scalable platform

7:43 really helps with that and it's uh it's

7:45 been really useful now i understand

7:47 you've just selected juniper as a supply

7:49 for wireless connectivity what was

7:50 behind that decision

7:52 ah that's a great question while this is

7:54 really my

7:55 uh my pet project at the moment we were

7:58 overdue a wireless refresh in in the

8:00 entire uh estate um we selected um

8:05 um

8:06 the the missed platform uh with juniper

8:09 because uh it played well to our cloud

8:12 first strategy and we also appreciated

8:14 that um the missed platform isn't just

8:17 about juniper's answer to violets the

8:20 missed ai is a lot more to it than that

8:23 the ai

8:24 um helps us with a lot of the wireless

8:26 radio resource management but it also

8:29 helps us with something called wired

8:31 assurance so

8:33 as i said before we've got quite an

8:35 established wired connectivity estate so

8:38 the missed platform can do wide

8:41 assurance so we've got that single pane

8:43 of glass there um we went with that that

8:46 wireless because we've already got the

8:48 wired

8:49 infrastructure in place um so it made

8:52 sense really to have those as converged

8:55 infrastructures one of my

8:57 visions for

8:59 the users really and and the network is

9:02 that the

9:03 the end users shouldn't really care

9:04 about the difference between wired and

9:07 wireless

9:08 they should just be able to to work

9:10 looking forward then what role do you

9:12 see technology playing in supporting the

9:14 business

9:15 oh i think um just on the same theme as

9:19 cloud first

9:21 just on the same

9:22 vein as the as the mist we're um

9:25 hopefully looking towards a fully

9:27 software defined network where not just

9:30 the wired and the wireless but another

9:32 major project that i've got

9:34 on the horizon is the one refresh we

9:38 currently have a a a classic mpls

9:41 network with a

9:42 single internet breakout with the new

9:45 erp the software as a service and all

9:48 those nice things really puts a strain

9:50 on the wand connectivity of the network

9:53 and just the other day i was talking to

9:55 juniper about um

9:57 their one

9:58 assurance going into to mist so that

10:02 that really plays well to our uh our

10:04 strategy there um really like the idea

10:07 that we can make better use of uh apis

10:11 they're an api driven company um and it

10:14 means that we can take some of the

10:15 systems such as

10:18 the mist the wireless the wired the one

10:21 and connect it into some of the

10:22 connected security that we've got as

10:24 well so it hopefully all converges into

10:27 one sort of single um unified

10:31 defined network really so that's uh

10:33 that's my vision um hopefully we'll get

10:35 there but uh it's it's a journey so uh

10:38 uh hopefully we'll we'll do well there

10:40 brilliant right daryl order thank you so

10:42 much for your time

10:43 thanks very much brad it's been a

10:45 pleasure

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