SDN Tipped As The Next Game-Changer In India

by Priyanka Pugaokar    May 12, 2017

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The adoption of 4.5G and 5G in India is changing the entire landscape of enterprise functionality. Given the exponential growth of the telecom space, IoT is expected to add more connected data sources. Therefore, companies will need to look for a viable option to manage the huge data traffic generated from the multiple devices. Thus, enterprises are looking at Software defined networking (SDN) as a viable option for integrated and highly scalable networking solutions.

In a candid interaction with CXO Today, Pankaj Kitchlu, Service Provider Systems Engineering Leader, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks explains how the SDN and NFV will transform the entire landscape of enterprise networking.

CXOToday: There is a lot of buzz around 4.5G and 5G in India. What trends do you see for these technologies in the country?

Pankaj Kitchlu: The adoption of 4.5G and 5G in India is probably the fastest in comparison with many other developed and emerging markets. With increasing adoption of cloud computing and virtualization, SDN cannot be ignored.  SDN is tipped to be the next game-changer in India with 63% of large enterprises in India plan to deploy SDN as part of their network architecture in 2016, according to a joint study by Juniper Networks and IDC. It also revealed that SDN adoption among telecom service providers in India will go up significantly in the coming 12-24 months.

Given the exponential growth of the telecom space, connectivity spreading across the devices and Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to add more connected data sources and companies will have to take this increase of data traffic into consideration. Software defined networking thus becomes an extremely viable option for enterprises to turn to, that can provide them with integrated and highly scalable networking solutions. SDN and NFV are going be the key technologies that will enable this transformation and Juniper is ready to help companies manage their networks better.

CXOToday: With the roll out of 4.5G or 5G, what transformations’ would you expect in the enterprise?

Pankaj Kitchlu: There have been significant changes occurring the way enterprises function today. Organisations are truly aware of the myriad business benefits offered by Digital solutions and they are working very closely with technology providers like us to enhance their digital presence and capabilities. Some of the exciting transformations happening in the enterprise segment include move towards cloud-based service delivery architectures and best use of automation.

Network function virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networks (SDN) are two areas that we see a great potential for enterprise to adopt in the days to come. We strongly believe that the future of enterprise networks in our country will be the combination of SDN and traditional networks. In a highly-connected world, it is of key priority for enterprises to constantly in touch with customers and its own employees spread all across the globe at any point in time.

Delivering virtualization and automation across all network locations are the key differentiators for Juniper solutions and by doing so, we intend to be a key stake holder in our enterprise client’s digital transformation initiatives. Transformation in the digital age demands a whole lot of unique capabilities and characteristics, mainly the elements of interoperability, agility, security, and the ability to run networks without much human intervention. Our Unite Cloud-Enabled Enterprise delivers all these capabilities. Fuelled by virtualization and automation across all network locations, including the cloud, Juniper Unite framework helps enterprises to fulfil transformative enterprise IT goals.

CXOToday: How do you align with the Digital India initiative?

Pankaj Kitchlu: Juniper continues to be actively engaged with the existing foundation of the Digital India projects, such as State Wide Area Network (SWAN), NKN (National Knowledge Network), DOP (Department of Post), IRCTC (Indian Railways Ticketing). We will expand on those engagements into the newer vision, outlined in Digital India with various stakeholders and agencies in the marketplace. We continue to believe in our role as core IP technology specialist and as an intrinsic participant in the ecosystem of players who will need to collaborate to drive vision to action for this lofty & ambitious India digitization project.

CXOToday: What kind of enterprise services do you offer to organizations?

Pankaj Kitchlu: Juniper’s business has been squarely focused on solving these problems and innovating in the dimension of performance so we can not only improve the economics of connectivity for our customers, but also enable them to rapidly create new services. These are the 3 offerings for the enterprises. Connectivity, LAN, WAN, data center interconnects, security, branch connectivity to the hub office. Whether a remote SME, medium or high end enterprise, all of them have these three needs and that’s how we have developed our offerings keeping in mind all of our customers. We are working with our customers to deliver automated systems that deliver performance, cost-efficiencies and new leading edge services.

Juniper is a pure-play innovator in the domain of IP networking. We are an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks which is constantly innovating and challenge the status quo. Our intent is to lead in the area of software solutions that simplify network operations and allow our customers across key verticals to deliver real value. We are constantly working on developing innovative product line up across routing, switching, security and automation software that spans five solution domains: Data Center, Core, Edge, Campus & Branch, and Access & Aggregation.

CXOToday: In terms of security, how interoperable your technologies are with the third party security solutions?

Pankaj Kitchlu: In the era of Digital one of the most important success factor for any technology provider is their ability to compact with a complex technology environment which includes a host of other solution providers.  We take direct feeds from all the other solution providers in the networking environment. Our virtual security offerings are well capable of securing your networks which are running a software or hardware made by another vendor. We have offering called virtual SRX, which is wire virtual firewall so that it could reside on a third party cords environment or a third party platform or cloud. 

We also have solution called Sky Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP), which is capable of taking decisions in couple of seconds of the malicious attacks on some of the enterprise PCs or mobile phone or any other hand-held element. It uses real-time information from the cloud to arm your business with anti-malware protection. It defends against sophisticated cybercrime such as advanced persistent threats and ransomware. Sky ATP uses state-of-the-art machine learning to constantly analyse web and email files, finding evasive malware before it can affect your business. It employs a pipeline of technologies in the cloud to identify varying levels of risk, providing a higher degree of accuracy in threat prevention.

CXOToday: Since India is a fast adopter of technology. What kind of prospects do you see in this market?

Pankaj Kitchlu: India is an amazing place to be, where the technology is really put to test. I think globally and in majority of APAC, where dimensions are not unique it’s about the subscriber density, it’s about the distances. So whatever we are trying to do in this region is always going to be supported a little bit by innovation and that’s why I think Juniper has done very well in the recent couple of years. We have been building the telecom infrastructure, the critical businesses for enterprises and obviously venturing into packet and data centre interconnect domains which are key for growth.

CXOToday: What are your new product solutions offerings slated for this year?

Pankaj Kitchlu: Our technology agenda is focused on two important dimensions: scale & performance and automation through software innovation. Automation is the key attribute required for our customers to achieve vast new levels of agility and efficiency in delivering services over their networks. Automation is fundamental not just to Juniper, but to the health of our entire industry. As bandwidth, intensive applications continue to soar and the world moves rapidly to the cloud, we see an increased need to innovative and improve scale and performance.