'Juniper Bangalore R&D has become the centre of product development'

CIOL Bureau
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BANGKOK, THAILAND: India’s prowess in IT services domain is well known, and well documented. But over the last few years, India significant contribution to the product development domain is getting recognized across the globe.


Rather than being mere executioners to the plans originating from Silicon Valley, Indian engineers are slowly but surely turning the circle around.

Contributing significantly to every stage of the product development – from conceptualization to design and its implementation, they are taking major chunk of ownership for the development of the product.

A wonderful example to explain this trend has been the contribution of Juniper’s Bangalore R&D centre to the development of Juniper Networks EX-series Ethernet Switch Portfolio. The EX 3200, EX 4200 and EX 8200 series Ethernet switches from Juniper Networks considered by analysts as dawn to new era in networking.


Forty percent of the product development of Junipers EX-series portfolio was carried in Bangalore R&D centre.

“The platform has now shifted to Bangalore. The old model was idea originated in Sunnyvale or Israel and got executed in India. New model is ideas are increasingly originating from Bangalore and execution is happening in Bangalore or somewhere else”, says Matt Kolon, Chief Technology Officer, APAC, Juniper Networks.

Kolon in a free wheeling interaction with Idhries Ahmad of CIOL, on the sidelines of Juniper JTech Forum in Bangkok, speaks at length about work being done in the Juniper Bangalore R& D center.


He also talks about why Juniper's  single operating system approach across multiple platforms gives the company a distinct advantage over Cisco. Kolon also sheds light as to why company has recently opened Juniper OS (JUNOS) to third-party developers. Kolon also shares his excitement about Juniper’s new found love for managed services.

Matt Kolon, Chief Technology Officer, APAC, Juniper NetworksCIOL: Juniper parrots single operating system approach across multiple platforms gives Juniper JUNOS a distinct advantage over Cisco’s IOS. What distinct advantage are we here talking about which JUNOS accrues to customers and others don’t?

When we went about the development of JUNOS, we were clear from the beginning. We didn't want to repeat the mistake of unveiling new operating system for every product line introduced as our competitors did back then. Customers found it very tough for figure out which version of operating system worked with which particular product.


We developed and focused on a single operating system and a consistent architecture across platforms so that customers don’t have to work around hundreds of operating systems across multiple platforms, thus saving time and improving productivity.

This is reflected in the operational cost savings for the customer. Research done by Seattle based Consultants, based on interviews with over 100 network operations team leaders reported JUNOS software significantly reduced the frequency and duration of  planned events by an average of 24% and 30% respectively JUNOS software’s. 

Again the single code train across core network components makes planning for, and carrying out, routine tasks easier.


JUNOS allows customers to create value over their network. Primarily value is attached to hardware in the router business, but our focus was on software. We understand the hardware is important, but our OS imparts intelligence to the network and enhances its productivity manifold.

Juniper also adheres religiously to the release calendar for JUNOS updates, which lets our customers prepare in advance for our new services and upgrades.


Why did Juniper go open considering the JUNOS is basically a proprietary OS in nature and wouldn’t it seriously compromise the security of the customer’s network to vulnerabilities

We are not going open source or are not opening whole of JUNOS to developers. JUNOS Software Development Kit (SDK) allows members of the Juniper Open IP Solution Development Program (OSDP) to build custom applications that run on the JUNOS operating system and extend the functionality of JUNOS systems. 


We opened some part of OS because of the modularity of its software and the developers can have access to some modules only. This will enable service providers to introduce or withdraw applications like security whenever they like and not get straddled with lock in applications.

And please give an update on how much work has been done to integrate security features from NetScreen into JUNOS

Integration has been a constant process. Juniper Networks has integrated security services found in its NetScreen’s OS into JUNOS for its J-series services routers. This means ScreenOS firewall, IPsec VPN, NAT, DOS and D-DOS capabilities will run on top of JUNOS software for the router.

Coming to India, Juniper Networks has been ramping up research and development center in Bangalore in both in terms of talent and space. While this is wonderful, tell us about the contribution of Indian engineers to the development of Juniper products.

Today we have 900 engineers at our R&D centre in Bangalore and it has doubled in three years. However, it is not the numbers but the transformation of role of Indian engineers at Juniper.

The role that has shifted from being primarily executioners to now being the originators of plan. The platform have now moved to Bangalore

The old model was idea originated in Sunnyvale or Israel and got executed in India.

New model is ideas are increasingly originating from Bangalore and execution is happening in Bangalore or somewhere else. Bangalore R&D centre has started taking ownership and more responsibility. Juniper Bangalore R&D has become the centre of product development. Forty percent of the product development for Junipers EX series was carried in Bangalore R&D centre.

They are now custodians of our IP. The value that Bangalore brings to our global team is enormous. High quality engineers supported by high quality management.

Juniper bets really big on managed services. Why is there a need for telecom service providers to shift their focus on managed services which is not their primary business?

Simply, because they are being pushed to focus on the other end of spectrum. See, bandwidth business is now not a business at all and service providers need to look at managed services very seriously. With falling ARPU’s and increased churn, service providers need  to build a model where the network has value, experience has a value. 

See, no customer or partner values any service provider’s network.  Service providers need to create an environment that allows the customer to access their desired content in a controlled fashion. It is the experience the network delivers to his customers. They value what they can do on or over it.

Because of the networks they command and huge number of customers they have in hand, carriers and service providers need to tap this exciting space in managed services which is expected to be worth $66 bn dollars by 2012.