Juniper's Sajan Paul

The combination of Contrail SD-WAN technology and MIST acquisition boosted Juniper’s business exponentially: Sajan Paul

Globally, all entities that are supporting the working and deployment of 5G are gearing up to either scaling their operations to suit the needs of 5G or are generally sprucing up their networks to modernize and automate to offer better services in a cost-effective way.

Interacting with Sajan Paul, Head of Business – Enterprise & Strategic Accounts at Juniper Networks India, VoicenData understands how the company has crafted advanced software solutions to cater to the needs of those entities who are looking to deploy SD-WAN or 5G and how the company’s latest acquisition of Mist Systems has paid off!

Manging Juniper’s Enterprise Business Unit, Sajan Paul reveals how Juniper’s Mist buy-out and its Contrail SD-WAN product in-sync have helped the company accelerate its business and escalate its score in the ‘SD-WAN as a service’ model.

How has SD-WAN and Mist Systems’ acquisition synced perfectly to scale Juniper’s business? Juniper Networks, being an established player in automated, scalable and secure networks, has constructed a cloud-delivered version of its SD-WAN solution. Known as Juniper’s Contrail Service Orchestration, it gives enterprises a simple way to manage and secure not only the WAN infrastructure but also branch LAN and Wi-Fi networks typically deployed alongside it.

Initiating an explanation to its niche offering, Sajan Paul, says, “SD-WAN is a new technology and a subset of SDN, which is intended to reduce the complexity of various remote offices, whether it is retail, hospitality, banking and finance, or any vertical. SD-WAN is rather the need of the hour as we are in times where connectivity options and the number of broadband connections in India are very limited. This is because India is not very equipped with network integration, optical fiber devices, special purpose vehicles, and other essentials required to have a seamless connectivity. In line with this, India is looking forward to the emerging option to meet the demand through mobile broadband connectivity like 5G.”

SD-WAN is rather the need of the hour as we are in times where connectivity options and the number of broadband connections in India are very limited.

Diving more into the details, Paul says, “In 2018, Juniper launched SD-WAN for deployment using Contrail Service Orchestration on-premises or in a virtual private cloud. The economics of the cloud are undeniable. Organizations are consuming applications and services predominantly through the cloud to realize cost and agility benefits. A cloud-delivered solution greatly simplifies operations for the rapidly evolving, distributed enterprise by removing the need for enterprises to run software themselves. But that simplicity can’t come at the expense of enterprises’ ability to adapt to the complexities brought by growth and scale. Juniper’s scalable, cloud-based SD-WAN solution helps enterprises prepare for the future while simplifying it today. It pairs the simplicity of a cloud-delivered model with central orchestration of network infrastructure, delivering all of the advanced benefits of automated networking, security, analytics and AI for IT.”

A cloud-delivered solution greatly simplifies operations for the rapidly evolving, distributed enterprise by removing the need for enterprises to run software themselves.

“We have large installments of SD-WAN-as-a-service across the globe. What has changed two months back is that we started moving SD-WAN assets to the public cloud. Today, you can buy it as a public cloud offering for your enterprise. The industry that is now making the most of the public cloud is the Banking and Financial sector followed by the e-commerce vertical. Public cloud is now a preferred choice because of maybe RBI guidelines and compliance-related issues. A lot of R&D today come out with SD-WAN ready solutions. Juniper is a witness to a large number of organizations of different sizes opting to buy cloud operated SD-WAN ready solutions.”

Paul further reveals that Juniper’s SD-WAN as a service easily connects and manages the full suite of Juniper’s branch and WAN solutions, making the benefits of SDN accessible to any enterprise. This, according to him, is Juniper’s way of significantly enabling its customers’ journey in the transformation to AI, extending the SDN transformation beyond cloud and data centers to the branch and the WAN.

Paul is certain that with this SD-WAN as a service, combined with the expertise of the acquired company Mist Systems, Juniper is making significant strides.

Paul ascertains that cloud-delivered SD-WAN removes the complexity of software operations, arguably the most difficult part of SDN. The on-premises SD-WAN solution, available for some time, is now offered as a service, bringing a managed cloud-delivered deployment option for the first time. Paul is certain that with this SD-WAN as a service, combined with the expertise of the acquired company Mist Systems, Juniper is making significant strides in permeating AI for IT. Paul exemplifies by saying that AI is now becoming a big-time reality for companies of all sizes.

So, what was the real value proposition with buying Mist Systems? Answering that, Paul says, “With the acquisition of Mist Systems, Juniper is clearly betting that the future of the enterprise will also be AI-driven. Mist Systems is one of the leading providers of AI for IT. The company has to its credit the world’s first AI-driven wireless LAN, which is now integrated into the new SD-WAN management interface. Customers can now actually see operational and analytics data about the Wi-Fi alongside WAN, LAN, and security. The combination of AI-based wireless LAN system and IoT made all wireless devices connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth seamlessly. We are going beyond traditional wireless connectivity and utility, and at the same time, you don’t need to have highly qualified engineers to deploy it. We are building these capabilities not just into wireless LAN, but also into the rest of our products. In India, we are seeing a great update. We are currently helping one of our customers build the largest wireless network all managed by the AI engine. We are also seeing a lot of discussions on 5G as a solution for which SDN is mandatory because it has a much stringent requirement. All the SDN components will come in handy here and Juniper is one of the strongest players with the most significant advancements in the 5G infrastructure globally.”

Security is, thus, constitutional to all aspects of IT. Juniper understands this and has fully integrated network security within our SDN offerings.

While explaining all this, Paul did not overlook the aspect of security. While deploying on the cloud, the immediate question one would have in mind is how secure would the operations be? “There are three key aspects to Juniper’s vision for a secure and automated multicloud IT platform: open architecture; software-defined networking with AI for IT and cloud delivery. Security is, thus, constitutional to all aspects of IT. Juniper understands this and has fully integrated network security within our SDN offerings, providing organizations with cohesive, secure networks. Unlike other solutions in the marketplace, security is not an afterthought. Juniper Connected Security offers a vision for integrating automation, network management, and security while providing a foundation for Juniper’s SD-WAN solution,” determines Paul.

Paul says that teams at Juniper are working doubly hard enabling retailers and partners to ensure that they have the technical expertise and the right connections to take their SD-WAN business to the market.

Foreseeing a significant growth, Paul looks forward to almost 50-60 percent of the enterprises that will have some element of Juniper’s SD-WAN built into it by 2020. Paul says that teams at Juniper are working doubly hard enabling retailers and partners to ensure that they have the technical expertise and the right connections to take their SD-WAN business to the market. And the most inevitable demand would be for 5G. Paul believes that even though 5G can take a couple of years to come to India, operations will start rolling out certain use cases for the spectrum.

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