Juniper CTO talks COVID-19, SD-WAN and shifting multicloud technology

In December, Juniper Networks  named industry veteran Raj Yavatkar chief technology officer. After extended stints with Google Cloud, VMware and Intel, Yavatkar is now charged with setting Juniper’s future courses in intelligent self-driving networks, security, network virtualization, packet-optical integration and how it will support hybrid cloud scenarios. Yavatkar recently talked with Network World about what technologies he sees currently impacting networking and what Juniper is planning for the near future. Here is an edited version of that conversation.

What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on Juniper?

First of all we are in a quiet period [ahead of the company’s first quarter earnings results set to be announced April 28] so we’ll talk about that more but suffice to say work has changed.  For example we have made every effort to provide our engineers bandwidth and high-speed internet access to do their jobs remotely. We have seen a high demand for increased security as well as bandwidth for employees working from home, but in general people are coping with the situation. 

What has been the focus of some of your recent technology directions?

We have been focused on a couple things, one making sure we get traction on our secure SD-WAN software components [Juniper rolled out its Contrail SD-WAN cloud package in December to include support for SD-LAN-specific operations, such as provisioning of new devices and managing branch office LANs].   And we are looking at providing more multicloud connectivity and building on our ability to provide cloud-agnostic connections to data centers, SD-WANs and branch offices. There are a ton of opportunities there.

What’s the status of Mist integration with Juniper’s portfolio?

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