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u talk to - it's all about moving workloads and applications to a multi-cloud environment, and reaping the cost and agility benefits of this approach. Cloud is a theme: it has been a theme for the last couple of years. It will continue to be a theme in 2019, and a few years to come.” Perhaps the most serious change to affect Juniper in the past few years is the change in its customer base: the company originally focused on the telecommunications market, then the enterprise sector. Today, it counts hyperscale data center operators among its most valuable clients. These organizations are running some of the largest server farms in the world, but their very size presents an inherent risk - if the relationship goes well, the supplier could shift hundreds of thousands of products at the stroke of a pen. But if it then goes sour, the supplier will see their revenues decimated in an instant. "We understand the hyperscale market very well - depending on the quarter, roughly around a quarter of our revenue comes from cloud providers; that includes hyperscalers, but also many smaller cloud and SaaS providers throughout the world,” Rahim said. "We understand what hyperscale customers require through practice, through years of engagement with them on a very technical level. We understand what they are looking for in terms of performance, reliability, flexibility, visibility and telemetry. All of those lessons have fed into the technology that we have developed, and the roadmap that we will be introducing to the market that really caters to the hyperscale space." The situation with hyperscalers is made worse by the fact that these companies have enough resources to develop their own networking kit – examples include Facebook’s switches like the Wedge and the Backpack, and LinkedIn’s Pigeon. However, Rahim is not worried that his current customers will dump Juniper kit (or software) to adopt their own, in-house creations. "The folks that work for hyperscale companies, the network operators, the engineers, are extremely talented. In some sense, you are competing with them - you need to demonstrate to them that the capabilities that you are introducing to the market are ahead of not just of you peers, but - for specific use cases - ahead of what they themselves can develop and implement," he

"I abide by the notion that 'only the paranoid survive.' I tend to take all of my competitors worldwide very seriously

explained. "I don't think they want to get into the business of developing networking infrastructure, networking equipment, just because it's fun to do so - they will only do it if they believe they can't get the technology that they need elsewhere. "As long as we apply the right sense of urgency and speed to the kinds of technologies that they care about, we will continue to have a very big role to play in building out the large hyperscale networks around the world." And finally, our conversation turned towards China. Incumbent networking vendors in the US and Europe are currently fighting off a two-pronged attack. On one side, they are squeezed by the white box, ‘no name’ manufacturers that are fully

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invested in the meaning of commodity and compete not on features, but on price. On the other side, firms like Huawei and ZTE are constantly improving their game, and have started offering levels of aftermarket service that can match their Western counterparts. "The technology coming out of China has been increasing in capability, increasing in sophistication, for a number of years now - I don't think that there's anything new that happened recently that causes us to be more or less concerned than we have been in the past,” Rahim told DCD. "I abide by the notion that 'only the paranoid survive.' I tend to take all of my competitors worldwide very seriously - this is, at the end of the day, a very competitive industry. But ultimately, what I focus more on are my customer requirements, and how we get to solving for those requirements with truly differentiated technology.” "It comes back down to the fact that I think the differentiation is not in the box anymore.”

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DCD>Magazine Issue 31 - Exascale  

DCD>Magazine Issue 31 - Exascale