The pandemic has accelerated the digitisation journey of enterprises across the globe. Between 2020 and 2024, the direct investments into digital transformation are projected to reach a total of $7.8 trillion, as per Statista,
Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Ravinder Singh, Director & Head of Enterprise & Government, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks, to understand more about its cloud & AI based solutions.
“A few key goals of digital transformation include optimising the deployment speed of applications and services, enhancing end-user experiences, and providing access to efficiency in a simple and efficient manner. Furthermore, organisations need to standardise platforms with consistent design and architecture, securely and within budget,” said Ravinder.
AIM: Tell us about the tech behind your Mist-AI cloud architecture
Ravinder Singh: The Juniper Mist Cloud Architecture is built on modern microservices that combines AI, machine learning and data science. This provides a platform that offers smart, scalable solutions and services focused on meeting digital transformation needs and operational simplicity, while delivering advanced wired and wireless experiences.
AIM: How could AI solutions help companies navigate the post pandemic world?
Ravinder Singh: The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the basic nature of business operations. It has forced organisations to prioritise always-on connectivity and build network infrastructures that facilitates a seamless experience, no matter the location, to ensure that business gets done anytime and anywhere. There is zero tolerance to network downtime as a few seconds or minutes of network downtime will undoubtedly spark customer and end-user dissatisfaction. We see that traditional wired and wireless LAN solutions are built on antiquated architectures that lack the scale, reliability and agility needed to address today’s diverse enterprise needs.
Keeping that in mind, the network for the next decade must be built on AI-driven automation, actionable insights, and agility, all bolstered by the elasticity of a microservices cloud. In an experience-first era, it is crucial for networks to deliver optimised experiences and operational simplicity.
AIM: How does SD-WAN transform the user experience?
Ravinder Singh: With the growing needs of consumers, the delivery of services needs to be quick. The programmability of SD-WAN combined with real-time monitoring of the networks offer greater visibility, control and orchestration to ensure that networks stay up and running. Also, the use of MPLS links is still prevalent among enterprises today. However, this approach is no longer sustainable in the long run due to rapidly growing bandwidth demand driven by cloud-based applications and digital content consumption. SD-WAN offers a more cost-effective solution by adding new links without making changes to the network or infrastructure. This typically uses less expensive connectivity such as internet broadband or ethernet.
Today, it is crucial for enterprises to lower the complexity of enterprise networks and reduce time taken to deploy new services. With SD-WAN, enterprises gain the flexibility that allows them to scale connectivity based on their ever-changing business needs. Moreover, keeping security concerns as one of the highest priority especially with enterprises embracing hybrid work models, SD-WAN presents new security capabilities that can be designed to secure distributed network architecture and cloud-based applications.
AIM: What are your thoughts on connected security arrangements?
Ravinder Singh: At Juniper, we believe in unifying all network elements into a threat-aware network. This is demonstrated in our connected security strategy where the platforms deliver pervasive security and automated threat remediation without complexity. The platform is built on a user intent-based policy model that provides consistent policy enforcement across multiple enforcement domains, and robust visibility and management. By dynamically enforcing security policies across every point of connection, customers are left with a much smaller attack surface.
We believe that organisations must know exactly who and what is always on the network. This means extending visibility, intelligence and enforcement to every point of connection is essential.
AIM: Tell us about the trends in the hybrid cloud space
Ravinder Singh: As enterprises continue to ramp up on digital transformation initiatives, we are seeing that cloud services are often at the core of these efforts. This is echoed in a report by IDC which highlights that over 90% of enterprises in Asia Pacific will rely on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private cloud, several public cloud, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs in 2021.
The efforts of major cloud service providers to make their services more accessible and appealing to companies can also be attributed to the increase in cloud adoption among businesses. Furthermore, cloud providers continue to strengthen their native optimisation capabilities to help organisations select the most cost-effective architecture that can deliver the required performance.
AIM: Things to remember while chalking out the digital strategy
Ravinder Singh: The right digital strategy is one that adopts a transformation process which optimises the value of organisational data and creates contextual intelligence to drive business value. However, data needs to be accessible, reliable, secure and requires automated collection and execution. A few key goals of digital transformation include optimising the deployment speed of applications and services, enhancing end-user experiences, and providing access to efficiency. Furthermore, organisations need to standardise platforms with consistent design and architecture, securely and within budget.
To tackle digital transformation, an organisation must combine strong leadership coupled with digital transformation initiatives. Thinking differently is crucial – leaders should have the willingness to change, and a vision of how to transform their company to grow and thrive in a digital world.
AIM: How do cloud solutions help enterprises overcome the security risks of remote working?
Ravinder Singh: With the explosive growth of hybrid working arrangements, it is crucial for enterprises to keep employees connected, productive and secure. However, the significant spike in traffic is causing an overload in traditionally configured VPNs, slowing down network performance and impacting the end-user experience.
Enterprise at home combines Mist AI and Mist edge with Juniper connected security allowing enterprises to extend the AI-Driven enterprise into their employees’ homes. As a cloud-based management solution, enterprises have the ability to scale to meet the needs of even the largest deployments. At Juniper, we help and support remote workforces by enabling reliable and fast connections, while ensuring data is secure and scale dynamically to meet business demands.
AIM: Tips to build a smart data centre
Ravinder Singh: One of the ways to build a smart data centre is to deploy a solution that automates your data centre network from design to deployment and throughout operations. Unlike traditional data centres, a smart data centre architecture leverages intent-based networking and automated closed-loop assurance to address the speed, reliability, security and human capital challenges IT departments usually face. Furthermore, smart data centers are built using flexible and open fabrics that scale to thousands of ports and support diverse work loads.
AIM: Tell us about Jupiter’s current offerings
Ravinder Singh: Juniper is leading this market with the complete integration of the Mist AI technology for our wired and wireless portfolio. Our robust AI-Driven enterprise portfolio aims to deliver on the promise of ‘Experience-First Networking’ to our customers. This is a concept that is unique and stands out among the offerings from existing vendors in the market.
Juniper’s latest acquisitions include 128 Technology and Apstra. The close of Apstra acquisition was announced in January marking a meaningful step toward delivering an unmatched, experience-led portfolio for the data center across all customer segments – enterprise, service provider and cloud provider. This was followed by another announcement in February announcing the addition of WAN Assurance and the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (both driven by Mist AI) to the session smart networks portfolio from 128 Technology.
In India, Juniper recently signed a partnership with ConnX to drive AI-based WAN adoption across the country. All these developments signify our commitment towards bringing the vision of the AI-Driven enterprise and Experience-First Networking to all our customers and partners in India.