In an interaction with Express Computer, Ravinder Singh, Director and Head of Enterprise & Government, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks says that MSMEs in India are making strides in cloud adoption, while large enterprises have embarked on building hybrid cloud architecture and are heavily investing in automation. On security risks of Work from Home, he believes the traditional approach of handling security will fail. To address the shift towards hybrid working models, security parameters need to be redefined and the cloud will play a vital role in addressing security challenges. Excerpts:
Please share your experience of experiments with emerging technologies in the last six months? What has been the biggest experiment so far this year with respect to technology adoption at Juniper Networks?
Juniper has transformed from a company building secure and high performing networks into one that is focused on delivering ‘Experience-First’ networking to our customers. We are leading the industry in delivering the best possible experience not just for end-users, but also for network operators and IT teams.
To deliver on our renewed focus, we have made multiple strategic acquisitions and incorporated cutting-edge emerging technologies in the fields of AI, service automation and SD-WAN into our portfolio. One of the key milestones in the last six months is the integration of Paragon Automation, which will transform the way customers plan, deploy and roll out application services.
The Paragon suite will help customers proactively plan the network design, simulate, deploy and optimise it using automated tools, something that was not possible before. Customers can now have predictable deployments and automated operations helping companies plan their time to market for new services with defined service-level agreements (SLAs) and uptimes. These solutions will help customers deploy their multiple remote branches in fastest possible manner with no compatibility and application performance issues during the services launch.
The reports say that India’s technology industry is likely to record a growth of 2.3 per cent in FY2021 to touch US$ 194 billion. What are your opinions on this? How do you see India’s technology landscape changing in this current fiscal?
While digital transformation efforts started many years ago in India, this has been further accelerated by the pandemic as more companies strive to keep pace and to catch up with technological innovation.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India are making strides in cloud adoption, while large enterprises have embarked on building hybrid cloud architecture and are heavily investing in automation. Furthermore, data centre cloud service providers are extending their architecture closer to the edge to reduce the latency required in IT-OT operations.
We are also seeing major investments in automation technologies with data centre service providers, banking and financial institutions, and internet service providers leading the pack in terms of adoption.
In the government sector, there have been investments in the migration from TDM to IP MPLS based network solutions. This is in line with the government’s Digital India program, where one of the goals is to provide connectivity and digital services to rural and remote areas.
Kindly share some of the latest trends that are driving digital adoption at enterprises.
As digital transformation continues to remain a key priority for many Indian enterprises, here are some of the latest trends observed:
- Automation in the roll outs and large deployments. In the context of networking, automation simplifies planning, design, and operations for network teams, reducing configuration errors for a more predictable and reliable network.
- Software defined application deployment. With software defined architecture, applications offer the flexibility, scalability, performance monitoring and automation that modern applications require.
- Service-level Agreement (SLA) driven delivery expectations from customer. Enterprises are taking a closer look into the SLAs to work towards ensuring the best possible service experience.
- Automated security breach detection and mitigation. As the number cyber attacks continue to grow, enterprises are looking at solutions that automatically address attacks as they happen, before any damage is done.
- The rise of AI-driven networks. AI enables networks to self-correct for maximum uptime and provide prescriptive actions as to how to fix problems that occur.
Please share your thoughts on technology investment priorities for India Inc and what to expect in the coming years?
Technology investments for India Inc will see more focus in the following areas:
- Data centre market growth. India is expected to experience strong data centre growth and industry players will soon look at expansion plans focused on edge data centre investments.
- Data centre disaster recovery investments. Large enterprises will look at either investing in disaster recovery (DR) services or building DR sites to ensure business continuity when its primary data centre becomes unavailable.
- SD-WAN deployments among medium and large enterprise and government sectors. This shift will enable organisation in these sectors to provide greater business agility and responsiveness to keep pace with IT innovations.
- Extended campus deployments incorporating seamless work from home models that ensure security and performance levels. Enterprises of all sizes will need to invest in technologies to scale and secure their networks based on hybrid working models.
- Government to bring connectivity to rural and remote areas. In line with its Digital India program, the government will look at investing in Fiber, GPON and Wi-Fi to bring broadband connectivity to more people across the country.
What are the priorities of Juniper Networks in 2021 for the Indian market?
As the pandemic in India continues to evolve, the priorities of CIOs remain clear: to address the growing need to digitise and automate network architectures. By building a resilient network, organisations can bolster their business continuity plans, provide seamless service experiences to end-users and mitigate against disruption.
Juniper is well positioned to address these needs, especially through the advancements we have made with SD-WAN, services automation and AI-driven solutions. In India, we have built strong momentum with some of our key customers opting for Juniper’s automation and AI-driven solutions in last few quarters.
Our priority now is to grow the market share with the Juniper Session Smart SD-WAN solution, as well as the Apstra 4.0 software in the Indian market. With128 Technology’s Session Smart SD-WAN technology and Mist AI, we offer a solution that meets the needs of large-scale remote office requirements, while with Apstra we have provided a data center automation solution for heterogeneous environments.
Both are the first of its kind in their respective categories and will address the challenges of CIOs in brownfield environments.
The pandemic has brought in remote working culture in the country. This has never been of this scale where millions of professionals are opting for Work from Home or Work from Anywhere options. How do cloud solutions help enterprises overcome the security risks of remote working?
Traditional security parameters have vanished overnight with many companies making the transition towards remote working due to the pandemic. Moreover, many enterprises have already announced hybrid working models as the new normal.
In view of this, the traditional approach of handling security will fail. To address the shift towards hybrid working models, security parameters need to be redefined and the cloud will play a vital role in addressing security challenges.
Firstly, enterprises need to focus on building a threat aware network that safeguards users, applications, and infrastructure by extending security to every point of connection, from client to cloud. Last year, we launched Enterprise at Home, a cloud-based management solution that incorporates Juniper’s Connected Security, providing enterprises with the ability to scale to meet the needs of even the largest deployments while meeting their security needs.
How do you intend to strengthen the company’s enterprise offerings at India and the global level?
Our Experience-First Networking strategy continues to build strong momentum and traction with customers. In particular, IT operations teams are happy to use the AI-driven insights that proactively address end-users’ challenges.
Furthermore, operations teams in enterprises are now able to provide faster and predictable roll outs linked to business launches, thereby truly integrating the business outcomes and IT needs in fastest possible timeframe.
Following the recent strategic acquisitions of 128 Technology, Netrounds and Apstra, we have pivoted our focus to delivering software-based solutions for enterprise customers. Looking forward, we remain ready to ready to address our customer’s needs of building network at scale with AI-driven optimised operations to ensure superior experience for both end-users and IT teams.