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Juniper Networks looks to drive sustainable business with Cloud Metro

AI-driven networks provider claims industry first, with automation-driven metro networking service to deliver highest independently rated power efficiency, TCO reduction and industry-leading performance

Juniper Networks has unveiled what it describes as an innovation that will power its vision and strategy for a new category of services for providers, optimised for metro transformation and sustainable business growth, known as Cloud Metro.

Offering a rationale for the launch, the artificial intelligence (AI)-driven networks provider argued that traditional “retro” metro networks are device-centric, and buckling under the extreme scale, agility and experience demands that widespread digital transformation and the advent of 5G services are bringing. By contrast, the new offering focuses on enabling sustainable business growth, with a series of high-performance networking systems, powered by AI-enabled, cloud-delivered automation, specifically designed to build next-generation Cloud Metro infrastructure.

“Digital transformation is moving into its next phase, which is all about transforming operational technology [OT] and driving the distributed delivery of new applications and use cases based on emerging technologies such as AI and AR [augmented reality],” said Caroline Chappell, research director for cloud practice at analyst firm Analysys Mason.

“The metro edge is key to supporting the massive data, real-time performance and sustainability demands that this new era of OT transformation is bringing,” she said. “This important industry shift requires the re-imagining and re-engineering of the metro network.”

Juniper said its new systems will deliver significantly reduced natural resource consumption capabilities to help sustain the planet, improved tools and simplified working methods to help sustain over-pressured operations teams, and embedded service assurance and security capabilities to optimise service experience – while at the same time enabling service providers to sustain profitable business growth.

Cloud Metro systems are said to feature industry-leading energy-efficient adaptive power designs as their foundational principle, enabling unused features and packet forwarding engines to be automatically switched off when not in use. The removable modular power shelf design is said to be able to reduce e-waste and extends system lifetimes by accommodating up to 48 times bandwidth growth in the same chassis. It is certified as Titanium grade by CLEAResult in its 80 Plus programme.

It is, noted Juniper, the first and only metro networking device power module to accomplish such a rating. The scale, capacity, performance and smart features of Juniper’s Cloud Metro portfolio have been built to replace the traditional three to five-year “rip-and-replace” network lifecycles with seven to 12-year lifecycles. Pay-as-you-go models and a breadth of interface options are designed to allow service providers to flex their investment economically in line with demand.

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At the heart of the offering is Juniper Paragon Automation-as-a-service, the industry’s only AI-enabled, cloud-delivered automation portfolio for metro networks, delivering immediate time-to-service value from months to minutes and reduced mean time to know and mean time to recovery.

It also includes Juniper 400G ZR/ZR+ optics, co-developed to reduce service provider costs by consolidating IP and optical layers with coherent pluggable optics, which eliminates an entire layer of DWDM transponder terminals by integrating 400G ZR/ZR+ Digital Coherent Optics. These optics fully comply with industry specifications from OpenZR+ and OIF.

Juniper said its use of AI and cloud-delivered automation will equip service providers with the ability to simplify day-to-day workflows, deploy services faster (with device onboarding taking just minutes instead of hours), reduce trouble tickets and accelerate time-to-service (and therefore revenue) restoration. This, said the tech firm, will improve productivity significantly, empowering network engineers and operators to accomplish more, facets that are critical for employee satisfaction and retention.

Juniper added that its new services can deliver lower total cost of ownership by using the latest generation of silicon, industry-leading system design and AI-enabled device onboarding-as-a-service. Zero-trust security is built in rather than bolted on, while active service assurance is embedded to deliver proactive service testing, monitoring and remediation.

“In a world of ‘retro metros’, Juniper’s new Cloud Metro solution stands apart,” said Brendan Gibbs, senior vice-president of automated WAN solutions at Juniper Networks. “Our cloud-delivered Paragon Automation-as-a-service promises immediate productivity increases for service providers.

“Instead of building complex, time-consuming ‘DIY’ automation solutions, they are empowered to focus on assuring service experiences for their customers,” he said.

“By extending our proven AI solution to the service provider WAN, we can improve productivity for customer operations teams by dramatically reducing trouble tickets and increasing network availability. And our extended ACX7000 Family delivers the most secure, assured, scalable and intelligent Cloud Metro portfolio on the market. This is the answer to service provider needs for a sustainable future for their profits, their people and the planet.”

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