SOURCE: Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks

November 06, 2014 07:01 ET

The New 'Virtual' Reality

Juniper Gives Service Providers Flexibility to Innovate, Launch, Test and Rethink New Services in Record Time and for Far Less Investment

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 6, 2014) - (NYSE: JNPR) -- A sales rep of a major Internet service provider picks up the phone and connects with the CEO of a hot new startup. The rep is tasked to get the company's Internet up and running, but he's hundreds of miles away.

After some back-and-forth with the CEO, he determines the startup needs more than basic Internet for its 100 employees -- it also needs cloud-based unified communications, payroll and inventory management, and guaranteed quality video streaming. The sales rep takes out his tablet, pokes at a few buttons and delivers a quote to the CEO. Liking what he sees, the CEO gives the sales rep the order.

"So, I guess we'll be good to go in about three months?" asks the CEO.

"Nope," the salesman said, "everything's actually up and running right now."

Such can be the future of the service provider business: custom services programmed on-demand with mouse rolls, not truck rolls. For years, providers have been spending billions beefing up their physical network infrastructure to support, for instance, the increased bandwidth demand for over-the-top (OTT) content from the likes of Netflix, Facebook and Amazon. The providers are making the investment, but the vast majority of the revenue is going to the OTT companies.

However, network agility does not meet business agility. With today's pace of business, it's simply impractical to wait sixty days for a particular service to come online. Something has to change. Service providers can no longer keep designing networks the same way they have for the past two decades and expect to be around for another two. And when OTT players are eating your lunch, it's time for service providers to think differently about their business models in order to stay viable.

Enter the new era of virtualization. Infrastructure can be flexibly deployed when and where needed and then elastically scaled out, up, or down upon demand. Rather than spending time testing and qualifying new equipment and training on multiple appliances and operating systems, virtualization enables service providers to seamlessly and affordably roll out new, revenue-generating services such as virtual security, multicast video or managed cloud services -- in minutes, not months.

With Juniper Networks' (NYSE: JNPR) announcement today that it is virtualizing its No. 1 selling MX router platform, service providers can introduce virtualization into their network at their own pace, worry-free and without expensive qualification-testing, operations integration and training on new equipment. Juniper Networks® vMX operates consistently in feature and functions as the MX router platform, so that businesses can work more autonomously from day one. Adding new services is as simple as checking a box.

"Some of the challenges facing providers of network services today are that resource and capacity planning is static, installation intervals are months vs. days or hours, and the network is not flexible enough to rapidly deploy new services to respond to ever changing market demands," said Nav Chander, research manager of IDC's Worldwide Telecom division. "Service providers that deploy programmable platforms that leverage network virtualization for scale, automation and faster service creation will have more flexibility to enter new markets, increase customer satisfaction and profitability."

Additionally, no two customers are alike in their connectivity needs so routine maintenance or service deployments can often mean network downtime for every customer running off a service provider's hardware. Service providers can now simply spin a vMX up on an x86 server and carry out the service upgrade there. Just because one customer wants video-service enhancement, for instance, doesn't mean everyone else has to wait for it to be done.

Let's take for example a regional service provider that wants to stretch connectivity into a local strip mall. Normally, with just physical routing, that would take weeks, expensive new hardware and extra manpower. With a vMX, setting up shop is as simple as flipping on a light switch.

The service provider network is now no longer a "field of dreams," so to speak, where "if you build it they will come." Sorry, Kevin Costner. Providers won't need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on extra capacity and wait (read: hope) for the customers to show up. With a vMX, a carrier can start small and react more quickly to increased demand. What does low initial cost and fast deployment time mean? The ability to succeed quickly or fail fast. More experimenting. Less uncertainty. If demand doesn't increase, investments can be repurposed for other uses.

Another scenario: a service provider just won a project to provide Internet and services to a huge, national company. The provider can already reach 75 percent of the enterprise's facilities with its current network infrastructure, but there's a nagging extra bit remaining. In the old model, they would have to buy a whole new router, set up new facilities to cover that extra quarter and overprovision assuming the service was successful. With a vMX, the provider can leverage the cloud model and push "go" to scale out to cover everything its customer needs.

The vMX can also work in tandem with physical MX routers. Every one of Juniper's service provider customer markets are different, where some situations call for physical routing, for others virtual makes more sense. Since all of Juniper's routing platforms run on Junos® OS with a common function and feature set, carriers already using the MX platform won't have any trouble integrating a vMX into their lineup. 

Now service providers have the maximum flexibility to use the right tool for the right project. No more having to use a hammer to try to turn a screw.

It's through innovation like this that Juniper is ushering in the next generation of service provider networks, capable of responding to end-user demand in a mere fraction of the time and operational cost it previously took. Virtualization is the key to service providers transforming both their business and the networks on which they run.

And as a bonus, the vMX can fit on a thumb drive.

Additional Resources

About Juniper Networks in Routing
Juniper Networks was born from a willingness to challenge conventional thinking. Our routing solutions are the result of some of the industry's most groundbreaking innovations across every aspect of networking technology: in silicon, systems and software. They continue to be the industry benchmark for performance, scale and rapid services deployment, giving customers a competitive advantage as they set out to build the best networks on the planet.

About Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) delivers innovation across routing, switching and security. From the network core down to consumer devices, Juniper Networks' innovations in software, silicon and systems transform the experience and economics of networking. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter and Facebook.

Juniper Networks and Junos are registered trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks and Junos logos are trademarks of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of assumptions, uncertainties and risks including, among other things, statements concerning Juniper Networks' prospects, product availability, future products and prospective benefits to customers. Actual results or events could differ materially from those anticipated in those forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including delays in scheduled product availability, the company's failure to accurately predict emerging technological trends, and other factors listed in Juniper Networks' most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements made in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release. Juniper Networks undertakes no obligation to update the information in this release in the event facts or circumstances subsequently change after the date of this press release. Any future product, feature, enhancement or related specification that may be referenced in this press release are for information purposes only, are subject to change at any time without notice and are not commitments to deliver any future product, feature, enhancement or related specification. The information contained in this press release is intended to outline Juniper Networks' general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision.

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