“No Outages”

Interview with Stefano Aina, Juniper


Please describe your role at the Zero Outage Industry Standard Association:

The goal of the overall Standard is ambitious. As the world becomes more and more digital, the number and importance of services that are provided from IT environments increases, and it becomes ever more important that such services are provided in an absolutely reliable way. They need to be available constantly, at the required level of service, and ubiquitously. We can see in our daily life experiences that people and companies are less and less tolerant to outages. Hence, the need to think about how we can develop an IT infrastructure for the future, that experiences “No Outages” at all. Juniper Networks is a founding member of this initiative and it recognizes the importance of the association in our industry. As the leader of the Platform workstream, we want to contribute to achieve this vision of an outage-free IT infrastructure, which would always be available to provide the services that are critical for people and companies in today’s world.

What exactly goes on in the Platform Workstream?

In the Platform workstream, we have broken down the infrastructure in different “conceptual” building blocks, which represent the different architectural, functional and technological components, that build-up an IT infrastructure. As an example, the “network”, which connects “computer” elements that process the information with the “servers” where such information resides are all building blocks of the infrastructure. For each of these components, we try to define design guidelines and best-practices that, when followed in the design and build phases of the Infrastructure deployment, will allow the IT platform to run with an increased level of resiliency to outages. We also recognize the importance of the interactions between such building blocks. We want to develop best-practices on how building blocks can co-operate and take care of each other. We also all understand that parts and components may keep failing while the overall IT infrastructure must keep staying “UP” and continue to operate as a whole and continue to provide in a seamless manner the end-to-end services it needs to deliver.

How does Juniper Networks benefit from the Zero Outage Industry Standard association?

The Zero Outage Industry Standard Association goals are perfectly aligned with Juniper Networks’ goals. We want to help our customers develop an IT infrastructure that provides business-critical services in a robust, resilient and highly available way. Being part of this association, with different experts working on the Platform workstream and in other workstreams, is a testament of how serious Juniper’s commitment is to our customers in this area. Also, I would say that by participating in this standard we can increase our visibility in the market.

Additionally we have the opportunity to discuss these complex matters with partners and competitors in a very cooperative manner and this will allow the industry to advance as a whole. As every company comes to the association with knowledge and experiences and by working together, we can really benefit from the strengths of one another.

What are the key advantages of a Zero Outage Industry Standard?

IT relevance is continuously growing and so is its complexity. Think about recent trends like security, IoT, big data and artificial intelligence, just to name a few. Also, the consumption model of IT services is dramatically changing with cloud (or hybrid) models becoming more and more relevant to an ever growing range of services, corporations and industries.

We all feel the need to develop new concepts and ideas to support the evolution of IT towards ever growing levels of availability that our customers are demanding.

When such dramatic changes impact an industry, there is no better way than joining forces – and the Zero Outage association, by bringing the best talents from the best companies in the industry, has the potential to achieve its ambitious charter.