Juniper CTO Raj Yavatkar seeks new networking breakthroughs

AUSTIN – Big 5G Event – Juniper Networks Chief Technology Officer Raj Yavatkar has helped create Juniper Beyond Labs, a new global effort within Juniper to work with partners, academics and others to solve some challenging technology and networking issues. Yavatkar has long been a proponent of "pathfinding" projects, which explore technology concepts and ideas to see if they can use them to arrive at new ways of deploying and managing network technology.

Yavatkar explains in this interview that, though Juniper is a networking company, he wants the network to get out of the way of users, and, in this sense, the pursuit of simplicity is one of his greatest challenges yet.

Juniper Beyond Labs is working on 5G and 6G research and looking at uses of AI, automation, network operations and new arenas like quantum computing and security. The projects will vary in scope. Yavatkar noted that Juniper has already been working on running RAN networks more efficiently, even during increasing capacity demands.

Juniper has also worked on securing network communications based on the fundamental laws of quantum physics. That research uses Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) and involves QuTech and Eurofiber, two partners that Juniper has worked with to build a quantum testbed connecting several data centers in The Netherlands.

Yavatkar reminds us that the use of AI and cloud computing in enterprise networks is unlocking tremendous potential, but also creates new complexities that need to be addressed if the network is to remain ultra-reliable and always available.

"I like to use two adjectives – secure and assured," Yavatkar said. "We want to provide that across the spectrum. I want to be known for that."

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Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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