When Juniper Networks OpenLab opened its doors in Bridgewater in 2012, no one could have predicted that this outpost of Juniper Networks would become such an influential part of the California company’s global innovation strategy.
Today Juniper announced that it’s going to open six new OpenLab sites worldwide—in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Amsterdam; London; Tokyo; Singapore; and Sydney. These new sites are expected to be in operation by the end of 2016.
The new sites will be modeled after the original pioneering facility, in Bridgewater, and will present localized programs similar to those offered in Bridgewater to customers, academics, partners and industry leaders worldwide.
Regional champions will be deployed at each of these OpenLab sites, all of which will be tied back to OpenLab’s founding location in New Jersey. “We will continue to use our infrastructure here to support global activity, as we have done before. There is no reason why people can’t continue to access our infrastructure,” said Jerry Passione, general manager of OpenLab at Juniper Networks.
Juniper is taking a lot of what has been developed in Bridgewater, including workshops and training programs, and deploying them at these regional OpenLab sites “so they can be delivered a lot closer to our customers,” Passione said.
The company will be able to “extend the delivery of our hands-on educational programs to further fuel innovation and prepare the industry for the exciting road ahead as new network architectures and automation takes hold,” he noted in the Juniper Networks blog. Customers will have to familiarize themselves with new and evolving architectures, he added.
“By expanding OpenLab, we’re helping our customers leverage networking technologies to speed decision-making and accelerate innovation,” said Mike Marcellin, chief marketing officer at Juniper Networks.
The expansion builds on the success of Juniper’s flagship OpenLab innovation center in New Jersey, which provides worldwide access to physical and virtual Juniper products that simulate real-world networking environments and scenarios. This enables users to build and test new network solutions, such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-function-virtualization technologies.
As we have reported previously, Juniper OpenLab in Bridgewater hosts industry and partner events. Juniper says there have been more than 150 technology and programmability training sessions and six SDN hackathons, known as “throwdowns,” co-hosted with Juniper customers and involving 17 universities to date. Some of these have taken place virtually, with connections back to the equipment and infrastructure at OpenLab’s site in Bridgewater.
“The throwdowns are growing and increasingly gaining momentum,” Passione noted. They support skills transformation for customers and help bring in new talent. The throwdowns allow students interested in networking to collaborate with Juniper technology experts and learn more about Juniper systems while working on real-world networking scenarios. NJTechWeekly.com covered a recent Juniper Throwdown here.
OpenLab sites also host education programs, such as intensive SDN and automation technology training sessions, to provide participants both theoretical and hands-on experience with Juniper’s technology.
Juniper’s “Solutions Incubation Program” allows third-party independent software vendors to develop their own solutions based on Juniper Networks. Customers and industry partners can gain access to automation “sandbox” environments to learn, explore or develop new solutions.
In addition to all of these activities, OpenLab sites will offer professional and support services. “OpenLab can serve as a physical and virtual hub for customers to gain insight on how to best plan, build and operate their next generation networks,” Juniper said.