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Archive for November 2014

With a virtual offering of its flagship product, Juniper takes
a huge step forward in network functions virtualization.

Cloud computing, mobility, and the Internet of Things have raised the bar on network agility. Service providers require an agile network to rapidly deliver services that can create new revenue streams. Network functions virtualization (NFV) has been viewed as a panacea to enable service providers to shift to a more agile network.

Juniper Networks has been among the most aggressive network vendors when it comes to NFV and has a robust set of virtual security offerings available today. This week, Juniper took a huge step forward with its NFV strategy by announcing it had virtualized its flagship product, the MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routing platform. The MX series has long been the workhorse for Juniper and is widely deployed in every region of the globe. It is arguable the company’s most successful product ever.

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How Aruba is using Wi-Fi and ad beacons to
improve in-person customer experiences.

New beacons from Aruba have been installed throughout the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. to help fans navigate the huge facility. Credit: Reuters

Earlier this week, Aruba Networks announced a “Mobile Engagement” platform that lets businesses create personalized mobile experiences. The product is targeted primarily to organizations that have a high number of in-person customers on a daily basis, such as stadiums, retailers, hotels, and hospitals. The venue owner can use Mobile Engagement to deliver customized services based on the customer’s location and profile.

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At its FORCE user conference, Riverbed laid out its plan
to adapt its optimization tools for the hybrid WAN.

A little over a decade ago WAN optimization became a real market, and it was flooded with names like Peribit, Actona, Packeteer, and SWAN Labs. However, no one did WAN optimization better than Riverbed. In fact, Riverbed and the term WAN optimization became synonymous with one another as the market took off. WAN optimization was hot because it solved a huge problem – it made applications such as Windows file transfer and Exchange work better over wide area connections, alleviating a sore point for network managers for years. Once deployed, it was impossible to take out. I remember interviewing a network manager of a global firm who referred to Riverbed as “network crack.” Once workers got used to an optimized WAN connection, it was impossible to go back to a non-optimized connection.

Over the past few years, though, the WAN optimization market has cooled off and Riverbed’s growth has slowed. The challenge for Riverbed and the rest of the market is that WANs have evolved into hybrid WANs, and optimizing the private network only solves part of the problem.

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