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How Juniper is moving to an open-source mindset

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Juniper and Ericsson partner to enable the first element of 5G connectivity
Sally Bament, vice president of service provider marketing at Juniper Networks, explains how 5G applications will create new network demand.
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Last year, a few months after Juniper Networks moved OpenContrail under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, it renamed the open-source software-defined network (SDN) program Tungsten Fabric. The move was more than just a rebranding — it signaled a shift under way at Juniper, from “being a consumer of open source to a provider of open source,” according to Randy Bias, Juniper Networks’ VP of Technology and Open Source Software. 

Bias, well known in the cloud computing world, joined Juniper in 2016, two years after EMC acquired his OpenStack startup Cloudscaling. While he doesn’t consider himself an open-source ideologue, Bias told ZDNet that thanks to his background, “It was clear Juniper needed help understanding what it meant bringing open-source products to market.”

Juniper is embracing open source technologies as its customers look for the product standardization and interoperability they need to scale their operations, Bias said. The networking company contributes to open source projects like OpenStack, Ansible, Salt, PyEZ, wistar and is still the major driver of the code for Tungsten Fabric. It’s also working on a new, open-source-based platform called ATOM.

It’s a process, however, that’s come with some major cultural and organizational shifts.

For one thing, Bias said, companies like Juniper and EMC have to overcome the mentality that contributing to open source projects amounts to “giving away for free” their heavy-duty IP. Embracing a new, pro-open source mindset, he said, requires executive buy-in, recruiting middle managers who understand the strategy and creating the right business models to support it.

At Juniper, getting the “movers and shakers” on board, including CEO Rami Rahim and CTO Bikash Koley, hasn’t been hard, Bias said.

“They’re smart folks, they’re talking to customers and hearing feedback,” he said. “They know the sea change is happening.”

Getting rank-and-file engineers on board is fairly simple as well, he said. They see where the industry is headed. For any large organization, this kind of cultural shift can face the most resistance from the layer of middle managers accustomed to certain business models, pricing and compensation structures.

“You need to bring in fresh blood,” Bias said, noting that Juniper is bringing in more people from Google lately. “Just like you want a diversity of people in your business, you want a diversity of points of view on thing like open source.”

Juniper is also working to change its incentive structure, Bias said, looking to Google’s OKR system for inspiration. The system uses objectives and key results (OKRs) to better align employees’ compensation with the company’s goals.


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    As it implements these organizational changes, Juniper is also working on a single, unified, open-source software platform for analytics, telemetry, orchestration and management (ATOM). The Kubernetes-based platform will make adopting new software “as easy as pushing a button,” Bias said.

  • There’s no timeline for the release of the platform, Bias said. Juniper is in the early stages of determining how the platform will interact with its software, and Bias said, they’re still in the process of “drawing a line around which parts need to be open sourced.”

    That’s left the company in a sort of “chicken-egg problem,” Bias said — they need a certain amount of code to be written before they can open source it. At the same time, he said, “When you’re doing open source development, you don’t get to do it in a vacuum.”

    It’s a process that can be challenging to navigate as Juniper undergoes its broader shift to supporting open source.

    “It’s hard to say the ship is turned until it’s actually turned,” Bias said. “I think it’s one of those things that will flip very quickly when it actually happens.”

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    The Best Features Of The Aston Martin Vulcan

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    Although the Vulcan was specifically designed not to be road legal, one owner decided that they wanted to stick on some license plates and take it on the highway anyway. Except, it was far from that simple, as the conversion process required making some major changes to the car, and cost several hundred thousand dollars on top of the original purchase price (via Motor1). The street conversion was handled by RML Group but had full support from the Aston Martin factory, and after completion, it became the only road-legal Vulcan in existence.

    Among the litany of changes required were the addition of windshield wipers, side mirrors, and a central locking system. Michelin road tires were also fitted, and a new set of headlights had to be installed to meet height requirements for British roads. The bladed tail lights were also covered over for safety, and a few of the sharper surface edges around the cabin were smoothed out. Then, the engine was remapped to meet emissions requirements, the suspension was softened, and a lift system was installed to give the car extra clearance for speed bumps. After all that, plus a few final touches, a license plate was fitted and the car was ready to go. Unfortunately, it seems like the owner’s enthusiasm for taking it on the road quickly evaporated, as checking the car’s plates against the British government database shows that its MOT (the annual national roadworthiness test) certificate expired back in January 2022.

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    5 Cars Owned By Bob Seger That Prove He Has Great Taste

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    Pulling into the final spot on the list is a 1969 Shelby Cobra GT350 Fastback. This particular car is unique for a few reasons. First, it was the last “new original” Shelby that Ford would produce. The GT350 and GT500 released in 1970 weren’t actually new or original but re-VIN’d production cars from the previous year. Also, during the summer of ’69, Carrol Shelby ended his association with Ford (via MustangSpecs).

    It had one of Ford’s new 351 Windsor V8 engines with a 470 CFM four-barrel Autolite carburetor under the hood that pounded out 290hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. Its 0 – 60 time was a modest 6.5 seconds, and it did the quarter mile in 14.9 seconds (via MustangSpecs).

    According to MustangSpecs, it was typically mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, but Seger’s had a Tremec 6-speed stick instead (via Mecum Auctions). Seger’s Candy Apple Red GT350 had Ford’s upgraded interior package, flaunting a landscape of imitation teak wood covering the dash, steering wheel, door accents, and center console trim (via MustangSpecs).

    According to Mecum Auctions, Seger’s was number 42 of 935. When it sold at auction in 2013 for $65,000, it noted that it had been displayed at the Henry Ford Museum at the Rock Stars, Cars & Guitars Exhibit.

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    Here’s What Made Volkswagen’s Air-Cooled Engine So Special

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    Engines like the Chevy Small Block, Ford 5.0, Chrysler HEMI, and Toyota 2JZ are known for power, torque, and how quickly they can propel a hunk of steel down the drag strip or around the corners of a track. The Volkswagen air-cooled engine is remembered amongst people who have owned one as reliable, easy to maintain, and as numerous as grains of sand on the beach. VW made literally tens of millions of the engine, including over 21 million in just the Beetle (via Autoweek). 

    It’s difficult to nail down specific aspects of the engine’s early history as sources tend to disagree on years. But the engine can be traced back to very early Volkswagen models designed with help from Ferdinand Porsche and built in the late-1930s to early 1940s in Nazi Germany. Official sources from Volkswagen are reluctant to acknowledge use of the engine or even the existence of the Beetle prior to the end of World War II.

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