Most people love simple-to-use products and services. Something that is easy to understand, intuitive and which exactly meets their needs. In a world of multiple choices, with many vendors competing for their business, they not only want the best experience and service but also expect everybody to match – or even surpass – their high level of expectations. As such, many digital businesses have transformed themselves to better meet these sky-high demands by anticipating customer and user preferences and continually innovate to maintain competitive advantage.

[easy-tweet tweet=”#Cloud architecture provides a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go resource that can scale quickly”]

Continuing the need for simplicity, organisations are always looking to streamline company operations. More efficient processes provide many benefits when applied to delivering a rich customer experience, including reduced cost, less complaints, fewer errors, and stronger market differentiation. For management, striving for simplicity, closely coupled with innovation, has become a cultural mind-set.

While the owned data centre has long supported business growth, a great many organisations are now making cloud adoption a fundamental part of how they do business. A cloud architecture provides a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go resource that can scale quickly, provide flexible, fast-to-deploy, provisioned services, with applications that can be rapidly spread across geographically-distributed sites or cloud environments.

At Juniper, we’re helping to unlock new business models for this connected world and create growth opportunities. As a foundation to the digital business, the network is a critical enabler for enterprises to integrate cloud-based services, especially using hybrid models. Cloud providers rely on the network to build a flexible and pay-as-you-go infrastructure, which enables them to deliver cost-effective services to their clients. A simple, well-designed infrastructure can speed up traffic, avoid errors, remove congestion, enforce and maintain ubiquitous security, while also costing less to operate than traditional networks.

From a data centre perspective, we recommend two key elements to designing a simplified high-performance network:

Architecture

Adopting open standards is the ideal route to simplifying network evolution. It increases flexibility, protects legacy equipment and enables the introduction of best-of-breed innovation from a wide development community. Switching, routing and security coupled with automation and orchestration – all should be working in conjunction with an open technology ecosystem to accelerate the deployment and delivery of applications for enterprises and service providers alike.

For Juniper, ‘open’ means adhering to industry standards and platforms such as OpenStack. It also means publishing APIs that allow partners and customers to talk directly to the operating system and define the network in the manner that best suits their unique needs. It means adding components easily from other vendors as and when you choose, whether it’s network devices, storage or servers. Customers running bi-modal I.T., i.e. two separate, coherent modes of I.T. delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility, will also benefit from the flexibility and easier integration.

Topology

Juniper recommends implementing a topology that reduces the number of tiers to ensure low latency and allow the rapid transfer of data across virtualised environments. Many traditional data centres still work with a hierarchical tree structure which was fine in the old client/server environments, but today apps and websites integrate data from numerous geographically distributed sources. As a result, the biggest data transfers nowadays are east-west (server-to-server). The preferred topology for new data centre networks is a flattened ‘spine-and-leaf’ approach which presents a much better foundation on which to build a data centre in terms of scalability, performance, agility and cost.

‘Simple’ from the end user’s perspective also means rapid access to information and short download times. With many businesses moving toward a service-oriented, scalable infrastructure, flattening the network should empower them to not only create opportunities for deploying automation and virtualisation technologies but also drive up performance across the network to improve the overall customer experience.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Redefining the role of networking should create new opportunities for businesses to succeed” user=”JuniperNetworks”]

In short, redefining the role of networking should create new opportunities for businesses to succeed in the digital economy. Simplicity always wins over complexity in the data centre – especially when building a network with a strong foundation that drives innovation through your organisation.

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Brett Ley, Director, Data Centre Solutions in EMEA at Juniper Networks Brett leads Juniper’s data centre go- to-market strategy and sales efforts across EMEA at Juniper Networks, based in the U.K. His role encompasses responsibility for the data centre switching fabric business and the technology ecosystem solutions that drive the customer value proposition and resulting growth of the Juniper data centre business across EMEA. Brett joined Juniper Networks in 2012 from storage virtualisation start-up, Tintri, where he led the technology go-to-market strategy in EMEA. Previously, Brett worked at Cisco, where he served in a number of roles over a 12 year period.