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1 I D C T E C H N O L O G Y S P O T L I G H T N e tw o r k Au t o m a tion and Orchestration: S i m p l i c i t y a n d Ag i l i t y f o r t h e C l o u d Datacenter June 2014 Adapted from Worldwide Enterprise Communications and Datacenter Networks 2014 Top 10 Predictions by Brad Casemore, Leslie Rosenberg, et al., IDC # Sponsored by Juniper Networks A new wave of application workloads and associated data traffic related to virtualization, cloud, mobility, analytics, and social media have placed unprecedented strain on the datacenter network and forced commensurate architectural and operational changes. This is particularly true in the context of cloud datacenters, where the volume and nature of application traffic and the need for extensive automation have exposed the limitations of traditional network architectures and the operational processes that accompanied them. For cloud datacenters, automation across all infrastructure, including the network, is an absolute imperative. It's necessary to speed network provisioning, streamline network management, and provide seamless integration with cloud orchestration systems such as OpenStack. This Technology Spotlight examines these trends and the role that Juniper's network architecture plays in addressing the requirements and challenges they will pose for network managers going forward. Introduction By their very nature, datacenters have always evolved to meet business demands and satisfy operational requirements, from the days of mainframe computing to the era of client/server computing to today, where the challenges are greater than ever before. Through it all, application workloads, which are integral to business success, have set the datacenter agenda. Today, a number of factors virtualization, cloud, mobility, data analytics, and social media among them are redefining application workloads and compelling IT departments to adapt accordingly. The pace of change has been accelerated by a variety of new application architectures and the need for continuous application delivery. Virtualization has been further expedited by the increased processing power of multicore, industrystandard x86 servers. IDC forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7% for virtual machines (VMs) from 2011 to During the same period, the number of host machines will grow 7.6%, and the number of physical machines (standalone servers) will increase just 4.2%. Meanwhile, smart connected devices will also proliferate in number and variety. IDC forecasts that more than 30 billion connected devices will be in circulation worldwide in These devices will be connected to cloud-based applications. The interplay between mobile devices and the cloud will generate an enormous amount of data, providing further impetus for adoption of agile, softwaredriven datacenter infrastructure. The north-side traffic patterns associated with client/server computing still persist, but they are being joined and surpassed by a growing wave of east-west traffic, facilitated by virtualization and passing from server to server and from rack to rack in the datacenter. This development is being accentuated by the emergence of cloud computing, which, regardless of its guise private, hybrid, or public involves increasing levels of virtualization and greater VM densities, as well as requisite support for multitenancy and isolation. IDC 1716

2 Not all enterprises are at the same point in the cloud journey, but most are moving along a continuum that takes them from server virtualization to a growing engagement with hybrid and public cloud. IDC's 2013 CloudTrack Survey asked enterprise respondents to identify the most important drivers for moving to private cloud and public cloud, respectively. Among the primary drivers that enterprises cited for moving to private cloud were the desire to simplify and standardize IT infrastructure and applications platforms; to improve IT staff productivity; to reduce the total size of the IT budget; to restructure the IT financial footprint by effecting a shift from capital-intensive budget to an opex-based model; to improve resource utilization; and to improve internal service delivery levels to boost business agility (see Figure 1). F i g u r e 1 Reasons for Moving to Cloud Most important drivers for moving to private cloud Most important drivers for moving to public cloud Simplify and standardize IT infrastructure and applications platforms 42% Get access to the newest functionality faster 41% Improve IT staff productivity and/or reduce IT staff head count 42% Increase revenues by enabling us to build new revenue-generating products and services faster Reduce the total size of IT budget 42% Improve resource utilization Restructure IT financial footprint/shift capital-intensive to operating expense model Reduce the total size of IT budget Improve resource utilization Give business units more direct control over sourcing their own IT solutions 39% Improve our internal service delivery levels and business agility Improve IT staff productivity and/or reduce IT staff head count 39% 0% 20% (% of respondents) 0% 20% (% of respondents) n = 1,109 business and IT decision makers currently using cloud or planning to use cloud within 12 months Source: IDC's CloudTrack Survey, 2013 The drive to simplify and to boost agility, suggested implicitly and explicitly in these survey results, inevitably leads to automation as a mechanism for realizing those objectives. Indeed, while the reasons for virtualizing and commencing the cloud journey might be obvious to many enterprises, the means by which they make the transition are critically important. Yet, there's no question that changes to infrastructure and operational norms are both necessary and integral to cloud success IDC

3 In fact, IDC has noted that amid the shift toward new workloads and the transition to cloud models, IT departments have begun to contend with the limitations of traditional networking. In an IDC survey for a report called Why the Network Matters, published in 2013, respondents provided insights into areas where their networks did not perform well. About 24% of respondents cited manual or slow network changes as a primary problem, noting that such changes were slow to effect and hard to complete. Nearly 22% said resilience was a primary issue, complaining that changes often resulted in service disruptions. Other significant problems cited included network performance, scalability, and the difficulty of bringing network changes into alignment with application changes, as well as reliability and security complexity. Virtualization and cloud, and the workloads they enable and support, demand a degree of agility and flexibility that traditional datacenter infrastructure, especially the datacenter network, is neither capable of providing nor designed to deliver. Automation Issues Tied to Datacenter Management As mentioned previously, many enterprises adopting cloud are doing so to gain business agility and to significantly boost their operational efficiency. Before long, they come to realize that they cannot reach those objectives on the foundation of traditional network architectures and their attendant operational practices. The traditional network, architected for client/server application workloads and north-south traffic patterns, struggles to accommodate increasingly virtualized workloads and intensifying east-west traffic flows exemplified by cloud computing. Additionally, the traditional network and its operation norms cannot accommodate the agility, dynamism, and elastic characteristic of virtualized cloud datacenters. The traditional network does not cope well with change. With its manual, box-by-box operational processes, typified by Command Line Interface (CLI), the traditional networking model cannot keep pace with the provisioning, management, and orchestration demands of the cloud datacenter. Whereas it can take minutes to spin up a VM for an application, it can take days, weeks, or even months for a network to be similarly provisioned to support new applications. Even when the network is provisioned, its manual management processes are ill suited to the elasticity and fluidity of virtualized workloads, which can move within a server, between servers, between racks, and even between datacenters. IT teams responsible for datacenter infrastructure clearly want their networks to possess the same operational agility and efficiency that their applications and servers have delivered through virtualization and automation. Rather than seeing the network lag behind and inhibit application delivery and service velocity, they want the network to take its place as a critical contributor to success in the cloud era. In fact, the search for network architectures and operational models that could better accommodate virtualization and cloud gave rise to software-defined networking (SDN), which was championed initially for Web-scale companies and other purveyors of hyperscale datacenters, for which the network represents not just a critical business support infrastructure but also the engine that drives the core business. Now, as cloud service providers and enterprises pursue similar objectives and seek an approach to networking that is better aligned with their changing workloads, they also are considering adoption of SDN and network automation IDC 3

4 Business Value Delivered by Automation and SDN (see ) In a recent survey, IDC sought to understand the primary motivations of cloud service providers and enterprises considering or implementing SDN. When respondents were asked to cite a main driver for their decision to consider or adopt SDN, about 28% expressed a need for the network to have more agility to support virtualized applications and cloud computing. Nearly the same percentage, almost 28%, cited the desire to deliver new application workloads across the network. A further 20% referred to the need for improved network programmability for gains in operation efficiency, while 12% called out the desire to expedite infrastructure provisioning for application workloads (see Figure 2). F i g u r e 2 Key Drivers for SDN Deployment Q. Which of the following factors is the primary motivation for considering or implementing SDN? Need the network to have more agility to support virtualized applications/cloud Increase ability to deliver new applications or services across the network facilitated by SDN Require better programmability of network for operational efficiency (opex gains) 20 Increase speed for provisioning the infrastructure for application workloads 12 Scale the network to support various and growing workloads 6 Use SDN to lower capex (initial investment costs) Simplify moves, adds, changes, and decommissions 3 3 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% (% of respondents) n = 228 Source: IDC's SDN Survey, 2014 Persistent themes in the responses were agility, efficiency, and programmability all of which are achieved through automation and orchestration. Results from the same SDN survey suggest that many early adopters of SDN have already derived notable opex benefits. Nearly 46% said they have derived opex cost savings of 10% to 20%, while another 31% claimed to have managed opex savings between 20% and 30%. Respondents from organizations that have yet to adopt SDN, but that plan to do so, expect similar results. About 43% of respondents whose organizations plan to implement SDN expect opex savings of 10% to 20%, whereas another 32% anticipate opex savings of 30%. Another 18% have relatively modest expectations, anticipating opex savings of less than 10%. What's interesting is that IDC

5 organizations that identify as having adopted SDN claim to have realized opex savings that, on the whole, are slightly greater than the anticipated savings of those that plan to implement SDN. There are strong indications that many organizations attracted to SDN recognize the power of automation in an even broader sense. A larger percentage of respondents (47%) from organizations that have adopted cloud and SDN indicated that they planned to restructure their IT department pursuant to a DevOps model, while another 28% said they already had restructured along those lines. Only 25% of cloud and SDN adopters indicated that they had not restructured their IT departments. Similarly, many respondents recognized the applicability of server-side automation tools to their network infrastructure as they made the move to SDN. About said they have leveraged or plan to leverage Opscode's Chef in their SDN deployments, while another said they use or would use Puppet. Considering Juniper's Approach to Automated Provisioning, Management, and Orchestration Juniper recognizes that enterprises and cloud service providers alike want their network infrastructure to reconcile with the demands of virtualization and cloud. Customers want their networks to simply and effectively accommodate automated provisioning, programmable management, and cloud orchestration. Juniper believes that a simplified network architecture results in simplified operations. Consequently, the company focuses on delivering a network architecture that is based on automating provisioning, streamlining day-to-day management, and network orchestration. In addition, Juniper's switching platforms and management tools provide open interfaces to integrate with third-party automation and orchestration tools so as to better integrate network operations with datacenter workflow. Network Architecture Juniper provides an architectural approach intended to simplify and flatten the datacenter network to allow for centralized network planning and design. Juniper's network architectures also are designed to optimize the flow of east-west traffic and to reduce latency between applications. Juniper also strives to simplify day-to-day network management. As such, Juniper's switching architectures are designed to improve network performance, increase network availability, and simplify datacenter operations. Announced last fall, the Juniper MetaFabric architecture accelerates the deployment and delivery of applications within and across multiple sites and clouds. Juniper has designed MetaFabric to mitigate network complexity in an evolving datacenter landscape. With MetaFabric, Juniper has delivered an architecture intended to be simple to deploy and manage, open to integration with datacenter environments and infrastructure, and sufficiently smart to improve network performance through the utilization of actionable data and analytics. The MetaFabric architecture provides a blueprint for modern datacenter design that incorporates all elements of the network switching, routing, security, management, and virtualization to help IT organizations deliver the performance, security, scale, and manageability that will enable them to increase datacenter efficiency and reach their goals IDC 5

6 Network Operations On the operations side, Juniper takes a three-pronged approach to automating the network, encompassing provisioning, management, and orchestration. A key product delivering those capabilities is Junos Space Network Director, which is intended to address the challenges posed by rapid virtualization across datacenter and cloud environments. In the datacenter, Network Director helps administrators manage and synchronize both physical and virtual environments, ensuring that network policies follow workloads as they move from server to server or from virtual machine to virtual machine. Juniper's solution enables automated provisioning of the network through Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and Bulk Provisioning. Beyond provisioning, Network Director's VM Analyzer provides real-time physical and virtual topology views for network management, while Fabric Analyzer monitors and analyzes the health of the entire network fabric. Performance Analyzer provides real-time performance monitoring of VMs, users, ports, and other metrics. Through a set of RESTful APIs, Juniper also allows its networking equipment to integrate with cloud orchestration platforms such as OpenStack and CloudStack as well as with popular datacenter automation tools such as Chef and Puppet. Juniper's network architectures and operational tools also provide integration with and support for network virtualization platforms such as VMware's NSX and Juniper's own Contrail. Juniper's approach to automation provides for openness and follows a standards-based regime so that organizations can integrate with the platforms of their choice and not be confined to a particular way of doing things or a particular solution delivery infrastructure. Juniper believes that automation is a must-have for organizations, so products have been designed to save time and improve the reliability of the network due to a reduction in errors. The intent of this highly automated set of capabilities is to make datacenter expansion much easier to handle without requiring a team of certified specialists to manually provision each device. The more that tasks can be automated, the more the IT team will be able to focus on strategic and high-value projects. Challenges Juniper will have to continue to project its comprehensive MetaFabric network-based vision for cloud computing to establish a strong value proposition for enterprise, cloud service provider, and carrier customers. This requires Juniper to continue to develop, articulate, present, and sustain a strong statement of claim about its place in a complicated universe spanning a number of markets, technologies, use cases, and ecosystems. Juniper will face competitive threats from a number of directions, and continuing to strike and maintaining ecosystem partnerships will be critical to success. Juniper will be competing not only against its historical datacenter networking rivals but also against purveyors of network virtualization that have moved into networking from the hypervisor arena. As virtualization and cloud advance, Juniper, like other networking vendors, will have to continue to shift its business model to increasingly reflect the value of software relative to hardware. Conclusion As datacenters play host to evolving application workloads and as those workloads, more than ever before, become more critical to business success there is unprecedented pressure on datacenter networking to become more agile, efficient, flexible, and responsive. While "speeds and feeds" remain relevant considerations for network buyers and operators, the focus is turning increasingly to how adroitly networks can be provisioned through automation, managed through programmability, and orchestrated through platforms that reach across all datacenter infrastructure (compute, storage, and network) in the service of workloads IDC

7 Datacenters are becoming more virtualized. Those who own and run them are seeking to benefit from the cloud (private, hybrid, and public) and adapting their network architectures and network operations accordingly. As IDC research attests, a definite connection exists between the demands of the cloud and new approaches to automated, programmable networking represented by SDN. At the same time, many IT departments are reorganizing toward a DevOps philosophy that results in more cooperation between previously separate constituencies and departments that functioned in distinct silos. As those barriers fall, there will be greater focus on leveraging datacenter automation approaches and tools across network infrastructure as well as servers and storage. As opex savings accrue from those automation initiatives and adoption of SDN, IDC expects the emphasis on automation, programmatic management, and centralized datacenter orchestration to continue to grow. Vendors that appreciate and understand those developments will be advantageously placed to serve customer requirements. To the extent that Juniper addresses the challenges described in this paper, IDC believes the company is well positioned for success with respect to automated provisioning, management, and orchestration solutions. A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I ON This publication was produced by IDC Custom Solutions. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented herein are drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendor sponsorship is noted. IDC Custom Solutions makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution by various companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee. C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N S Any IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from IDC. For permission requests, contact the IDC Custom Solutions information line at or Translation and/or localization of this document require an additional license from IDC. For more information on IDC, visit For more information on IDC Custom Solutions, visit Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F IDC 7

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