Dig­i­tal co­he­sion: a new era

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NET­WORK DE­VEL­OP­MENT IS TAK­ING US ONTO NEW PATH­WAYS. JA­SON MCGEE ABE ANALY­SES THE VI­SION WHICH RAMI RAHIN, CEO, JU­NIPER NET­WORKS OUTLINES FOR THE FU­TURE OF DIG­I­TAL CO­HE­SION AND THE VERY DIF­FER­ENT WORLD IT WILL USHER IN

Ju­niper Net­works CEO Rami Rahim re­cently laid out a new vi­sion of net­work­ing in­no­va­tion, not just for the com­pany, but for the in­dus­try he be­lieves is be­hind and has a timid view on au­to­ma­tion.

“This in­no­va­tion jour­ney we’re on has no des­ti­na­tion,” said Rahim, who was ap­pointed CEO ex­actly two years ago, in his “Dig­i­tal Co­he­sion: A new era be­ing born” pre­sen­ta­tion at the com­pany’s Open Dis­rup­tive Decade event. “Dig­i­tal co­he­sion is a fu­ture in which ap­pli­ca­tions con­nect and self-as­sem­ble to de­liver com­pelling mega-ser­vices that en­hance our lives,” said Rahim to del­e­gates in Lon­don.

He be­lieves that “backed by the power of the cloud” dig­i­tal co­he­sion will see ap­pli­ca­tion move away from point ser­vices and static user-ini­ti­ated tasks to holis­tic end-to-end mega ser­vices which are adap­tive, pre­dic­tive and au­ton­o­mous. “No man­u­als will be needed and with tech­nol­ogy work­ing seam­lessly in the back­ground we’ll have lit­tle to no hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, which will free us up to fo­cus our ef­forts to re­alise and reach dig­i­tal co­he­sion. In the fu­ture, we be­lieve that ma­chines will be con­stantly learn­ing based on your in­ter­ests, habits, re­quire­ments and your peers and this will be the next key wave of in­no­va­tion,” said Rahim.

How­ever, a lot of things need to evolve – govern­ment pro­grammes, reg­u­la­tion, data pri­vacy shields, IOT and M2M - to enable this and en­sure the true suc­cess of dig­i­tal co­he­sion.

In Rahim’s opin­ion there are four key bar­ri­ers to dig­i­tal co­he­sion: (1) Eco­nomics of au­to­ma­tion; (2) Per­for­mance; (3) In­ter­op­er­abil­ity; and (4) Trust. The ‘eco­nomics of au­to­ma­tion’ bar­rier, cer­tainly linked to the ever-grow­ing pur­suit of bet­ter value at lower prices, “con­jures up a few mis­con­cep­tions”, warns Rahim. “Some peo­ple see it as a way of killing jobs, we see it as a way to free up ca­pac­ity to in­no­vate. We be­lieve au­to­ma­tion is the next big thing in net­work­ing.” He adds: “It also doesn’t mat­ter what I think about it, but the eco­nomics of au­to­ma­tion is in­escapable,” as he adds - it is cru­cial to de­liver the next gen­er­a­tion of ap­pli­ca­tions and ser­vices. “When we reach the lim­its of a sin­gle data pro­ces­sor we will move to multi-core pro­ces­sors, from racks we move to full data cen­tres, and then we con­nect all the data cen­tres to­gether to pro­vide the cloud.”

“What we are do­ing is putting space be­tween com­pute stor­age and the con­sumers which puts un­prece­dented pres­sure on the net­works them­selves. Through the power of the cloud it puts more im­por­tance on the net­work. We are mov­ing to a world where we need to scale-out,” Rahim adds. “The power of in­ter­op­er­abil­ity has al­lowed us to build the great­est plat­form the world has ever seen, the in­ter­net,” but in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and open­ness at ev­ery layer is another hur­dle. “The fu­ture of net­work­ing will be one of class lay­ers – op­ti­mised, au­to­mated and or­ches­trated - that reaches the full po­ten­tial of in­ter­op­er­abil­ity net­works. “The bar­ri­ers that need to be coun­tered have never been larger. Fun­da­men­tal laws [such as Moore’s law] are com­ing to an end, some things are break­ing down,” Rahim said. “In­dus­tries will have to pro­vide com­mon lan­guage, govern­ments the leg­is­la­tion, and we all have to keep things safe. What should not be taken for granted is the ba­sic build­ing blocks for progress.”

Fi­nally, in or­der to reach dig­i­tal co­he­sion there must be trust be­tween op­er­a­tors and con­sumers. “A new way of think­ing about se­cur­ing net­works is also go­ing to be re­quired. We be­lieve trust and se­cu­rity in net­works will be built as each and ev­ery part of the net­work must ad­here to all. The fu­ture is ex­cit­ing,” con­cluded Rahim.

We be­lieve au­to­ma­tion is the next big thing in net­work­ing” Rami Rahim, CEO, Ju­niper Net­works

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