Juniper Networks: the 2021 survival guide
On the consumer side of the technology industry, there are many ‘hits’ that actually bubbled away under the surface for decades before becoming overnight sensations. Last year’s mass exodus of the workforce from office to home is a case in point.
The IT industry pushed remote offices and collaboration for decades – video conferencing was invented in 1950 and BT tried to persuade us to ‘Telecottage’ in the 90s. It is only ‘events’, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that really close the deal.
Nobody can predict ‘Events’. When they do take place, the speed of developments calls for emergency services - digital transformation performed at speed, over-achieving while under duress.
We can predict with a high level of certainty that 2021 will be a year of flux and the engine of digital transformation will be fine tuned by the latest technologies – intent based networking (IBN), SONiC, and new disciplines such as AI Ops, Data Ops and Security Ops.
Remote working and conferencing, like all applications and experiences, are at the top layer of the digital stack, where IT meets the public.
Intent Based Networking and AI
Deep down in the bowels of The Stack are the uncelebrated foundational technologies that make it all work. These are complicated concepts which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to keep pace with the changes on the network.
IBN uses sophisticated techniques to work out every connection that could ever be set up on a network. Every conversation, between every user on any gadget, with any field, on any database, in any hosting centre, is sacred.
The experience quality is linked to the integrity of the conversation as it traverses apps, interfaces, syntaxes, transport and storage. Ensuring the integrity of those conversations as they traverse every network node, every link, as networks constantly evolve, is beyond the capacity of human resources.
Open Networking and SONiC
Another important foundation will be Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) because it will push for standardisation and close the compatibility gap.
This tech was devised by Microsoft engineers to meet their requirement to massively scale their networking infrastructure at the core of their cloud services. They met this requirement by embracing Open Networking.
Microsoft open-sourced the network operating system (NOS) that is used in its cloud computing service, Azure and created a devoted community of partisans on Github. As a result, it has a powerful undertow of supply and enormous demand put on by the digital industry.
What apps and experiences will IBN, AI and SONiC cater for in 2021?
The "Zoom boom" that ushered in more remote networking and conferencing than ever before will continue apace this year. Events will create volatility in global economies with a powerful influence on critical industries such as financial services, insurance, retail, and transportation.
In turn, this drives the need for continued investment in the networking layer, as well as continued investments in device management and cyber security. Cybersecurity Ventures reported a 600% rise in attacks on cloud services from every guise of criminal enterprises last year. Meanwhile, with a world shortage of 3.5mn security experts predicted for 2021, so many of these duties will be trusted to software, including RPA and AI. But it’s all going to be going off at the network layer.
Group Management: Superior compliance in construction
Group Management Electrical Surveys is a long-standing and vital partner to Mercury Engineering. The company offers an innovative suite of electrical inspection, test and documentation services to ensure compliance in complex major construction projects for many of the UK and EU's leading companies. Utilising in-house cutting-edge solutions and its highly competent and experienced engineers, Group Management provides everything from electrical inspection and testing to thermal imaging surveys, QA/QC management, torque compliance, technical support, DSEAR compliance and electrical installation condition reports.
“No project can achieve handover without the correct documentation and safety critical electrical certification in place,” says Managing Director Steve Cressey. “Our services ensure that project critical documentation and certification can be correctly produced in an efficient, cost effective manner, which makes Group Management an important part of any construction project.”
Cressey joined the business in 2009, bringing strong and incisive leadership to Group Management, with decades of industry experience giving him a unique understanding of the design through to handover construction process. He has stewarded the business’ partnership with Mercury since its inception and describes it as uniquely collaborative.
“Our relationship with Mercury Engineering stretches back many years. We partnered with Mercury on our first Data Centre project together in Watford in 2007, and since then the relationship has gone from strength to strength,” says Cressey.
“The partnership is longstanding, and we’ve built an incredibly strong working relationship. Partnering with Mercury, who are an innovative, cutting-edge technology provider, means we must constantly improve our services offering. We strive to be the best in what we do, and Mercury can trust we will be efficient in delivering on time, on budget, to achieve a successful handover that meets both Mercury’s and the end clients’ future needs.”
Group Management has since successfully completed more than 30 Data Centre projects throughout the EU as Mercury’s preferred electrical compliance partner. The relationship has also seen Group Management partner with Mercury Engineering on four brand-new hospitals in the UK and Ireland, key pharmaceutical projects and a number of commercial and leisure spaces.
“To ensure the continued success and growth of Group Management we always discuss projects with key clients and their teams, take feedback on the performance of both our business and our individuals, and in turn use that to improve our services,” Cressey says.
“The professional development of our employees is essential to our success. All our employees are encouraged to continue their education, to further develop their skills through additional training, and that in turn drives better service and a superior product for our clients. We now offer four more services to Mercury than when the partnership began, which has helped spur Group Management’s growth and success within the wider market.”