Software-defined push: Juniper expands APAC pact with VMware
By Gabey Goh December 12, 2014
- IT landscape shifting towards mobile applications delivered from the cloud
- Duo to unify virtual and physical networks within virtualised data centres
JUNIPER Networks and VMware have launched a joint Asia Pacific strategy aimed at accelerating the adoption of private cloud solutions by enterprises across the region.
The announcement builds on last year’s expansion of the two companies’ global technology partnership to deliver a broad range of solutions for unifying virtual and physical networks within a virtualised data centre environment.
The partnership will be centred on joint marketing and sales activities, aligning both vendors’ private cloud products and sales teams to support customers in Asia Pacific region. Activities include the recent vForums and joint technical sales training.
READ ALSO: Emerging markets report fundamental life changes from connectivity
In addition, both companies will deliver interoperable products to support simple integration of the VMware NSX network virtualisation platform with Juniper Networks’ MetaFabric architecture for virtualised data centre networking in Asia Pacific.
Layer 2 Gateway Services for VMware NSX certified on Juniper Networks’ MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers to enable seamless bridging between virtual and physical environments.
Full VXLAN routing on the EX9200 and MX Series platforms to extend virtual networks seamlessly across multiple data centres. This capability leverages custom silicon and employs native L3 (Layer 3) capabilities on EX9200 and MX platforms for connectivity of L3 LANs and WANs (local and wide area networks) at wire speed, effectively making VXLAN a fully functioning replacement for legacy VLANs.
Juniper Networks’ Junos Space Network Director layer with VMware vCenter to enable discovery, management and monitoring of virtual networks including vCenter servers, hosts, VMs and virtual switches. It also provides detailed virtual to physical network connectivity information. This is intended to help ensure consistency and visibility across virtual and physical networks.
A proof-of-concept (POC) lab will also be established and be open to customers for the purposes of conducting testing and analysis of the interoperable VMware NSX and MetaFabric solution, the two companies said.
According to TechNavio, the global market for private cloud services is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 22% from 2013-2018.
However, research firm Frost & Sullivan noted that the implementation and management of virtual infrastructures, together with network latency, are among the leading pain-points cited by chief information officers (CIOs) across the Asia Pacific region.
Commenting on the expanded partnership, Sanjay Mirchandani, senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific and Japan for VMware, said that while it is no secret that the entire IT landscape is undergoing a dramatic shift toward mobile applications delivered from the cloud, nobody should underestimate the challenge this represents to data centre operations.
“Together with Juniper Networks, we have a strong focus on addressing data centre complexity by leveraging the power of network virtualisation to radically simplify IT, while delivering services at the speed of today’s business,” he said.
Juniper Networks’ vice president of Systems Engineering and Centre of Excellence in Asia Pacific Russell Skingsley said enterprises are looking to Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC) technology and network virtualisation as a means of easily deploying, managing and orchestrating private cloud networks.
“At Juniper, we believe customers will realise the greatest benefits when physical and virtual networks leverage each other’s strengths.
“Through our partnership with VMware in Asia Pacific we are committed to helping our customers maximise the benefit of both their virtual and physical data centre resources, ensuring the success of their SDDC implementations,” he added.
Asian Outlook and Opportunities
At an industry analyst and media event hosted by Juniper Networks in Singapore on Dec 4, the company’s Asia Pacific senior vice president Wendy Koh (pic) argued that network connectivity is fundamental to the growth of the region.
“Connectivity creates opportunities. In Singapore, being one of the most connected nations in the region has given it ‘most competitive city’ status and recognition for the ease of doing business.
“In India, connectivity is enabling the exploration of opportunities in e-commerce. In Japan and South Korea, two of the more connected nations in the world, they are leveraging that status to leverage upon a vibrant and lucrative apps market,” she said.
In addition, Koh said that governments around the world are increasingly emphasising creativity and technology infrastructure to drive their nations’ increased competitiveness, and to be able to go after growth, attract key talent, and take on global business opportunities.
“The network is at the heart of all this opportunity, but this transformation leads to opportunities and challenges.
“For many customers, there are two broad challenges, with the first being the operational expenditure (opex) challenge.
“With such fast growth in traffic, there is a need to build a complex network to cater to the traffic, which requires people and resources.
“In addition, there is a capital expenditure (capex) challenge as the rapid rate of investment needed to build these complex networks are not faster than the topline revenue they’re getting,” she said.
Koh said that different customers see different opportunities presented to them via the explosion of connectivity – for example, service providers are aspiring to become cloud providers.
“They are coming to us for network innovations and we are partnering with them to automate sales and create new services with which to differentiate and gain new customers,” she said, adding that cloud providers were also investing in building up global market share via the “constant delivery of innovation.”
Enterprises, whose IT make-up has already been transformed by cloud computing, are also looking at private cloud infrastructure, with some of their own applications provided by cloud providers and hosted on public clouds.
“Our go-to market model will be closely aligned to sales and partner resources to help address customer challenges,” said Koh.
“It is a model that is deliberately dependant on our partner ecosystem as we recognise the importance of support and continued investment.
“Simply put, our customers need to win, our partners need to win, and when they do, we will win,” she added.
Juniper Networks has also invested heavily into development in software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) to better enable agile development and robust networks.
At a panel discussion hosted during the industry analyst and media event, two Juniper customers – Samuel Ang, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Nera Telecommunications; and Edmund Wei, president and CEO of CommVerge Solutions – were asked for their top predictions for networking come 2017.
Wei said that he believes NFV will be the first to gain mainstream adoption because “it is easier to get done.”
“There’s a lot of standards in SDN that still need to be defined today and as we speak, there are groups and forums that are working on it. So I see 2015 as a year of collaborative standard-setting that the industry needs to come to agreement on before use cases can be built upon in,” he said.
Wei said that 2015 would see minimal deployment of SDN and more trials launched, while operators move forward with NFV. 2016-2017 will be the beginning of real adoption as standards become more well-applied.
“As more operators and cloud providers start to see that it really does work and I believe it will work, we will see accelerated deployment, and come 2017, we will be sitting around talking about a complete different state of networking.
“Costs will be down and the channel environment will be very different, and you’ll have people working more on software to support the network, rather than hardware and systems. And hopefully we’ll be major players still at that time,” he added.
Ang held a more optimistic view of SDN deployment, with Nera already embracing and investing heavily into the technology – pointing to the “tremendous traction” in data centres and the current acceptance of NFV-SDN globally versus just three years ago.
“I believe that we’re moving from an emerging phase to a migrating phase now and come 2017, I envisage a lot of SDN deployed in many different forms.
“I don’t think it is wise for any of our customers to not look at SDN because it is a huge disruption – the faster they look at it, the faster they understand it and can exploit it to create new values in what they’re offering,” he added.
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