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Cloud is the centre of network innovation, says Juniper R&D boss

Juniper Networks' Rami Rahim describes cloud as steam engine of 21st century

Cloud is the centre of network innovation, says Juniper R&D boss
Rahim: Customers are recognising the value of cloud as a new means of providing agility

Cloud computing is at the centre of where innovation is happening in the networking industry, according to Rami Rahim, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Networks' Development and Innovation organisation.

Speaking to ITP.net while in Dubai last month, Rahim said that cloud could be described as the steam engine of the 21st century. He said that, as head of Juniper's product development, the vendor was putting a lot of focus into helping organisations use cloud to further their businesses. This was particularly true when it came to telecoms customers, he said.

"I think more and more of our customers are starting to value and need the same thing to drive their businesses forward. And this is true across regions, but it's also true across verticals," he said.

"You see customers that have traditionally operated networks, and offered connectivity services, are recognising the value of cloud as a new means of providing agility, and are introducing new services for their end users, so creating new revenue streams.

"And then those customers that have traditionally been pure data centre services-type providers are actually starting to build the network infrastructure to connect those data centres together, and to connect that infrastructure of data centres to the consumers of cloud services."

Rahim said that, though organisations providing cloud services might have started off with different architectures, they are, more or less, converging towards similar architectures, and that they were doing this by thinking more carefully about their networks. He said that this was simply down to the recognition of the benefits of cloud computing.

"The benefits are pretty well understood at this point in time - to crush operational costs, and to increase the opportunity to monetise their operations much better with new revenue streams," he said.

"We at Juniper obviously believe that the centre of your ability to become a cloud provider, our customers, is the network."

Rahim said that Juniper was confident in the performance that it could offer customers from a networking perspective, but added that the vendor was now looking to add intelligence to its products. He added that the word "intelligence" in networking had a very specific meaning to Juniper.

"It means making the networks that are still somewhat complex and brittle today far easier to operate and to manage - that's how you reduce the cost," he explained.

"It means having networks that are self-aware and can self-optimise so that they can be used far more efficiently - yet another means of reducing the cost of running these networks. It also means unleashing the data that today is trapped in these networks and is not getting leveraged for a variety of purposes.

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