Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Pradeep Sindhu, the founder, vice chairman, and CTO of Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), has come a long way from his days at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC, the birthplace of many a networking technology, including Ethernet and the first optical-cable-based LAN.
In 1996, Sindhu left Xerox after he cooked up the idea for a high-end router company. Sindhu was joined by Scott Kriens, who became Juniper's CEO, and the rest is history. Juniper was up and running in a couple of years and staged one of the most successful technology IPOs in history in 1999.
We met with Sindhu at Juniper's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., in early April. A couple of weeks later we enjoyed hearing Sindhu speak at the Light Reading Live investment conference in New York, "The Telecom Recovery: Opportunities Amid the Chaos."
We've combined and edited the contents of these separate discussions and presented them here in this Q&A.
Sindhu's main role right now appears to be crusading for Juniper's "Infranet" initiative. Yes, the name sounds like something from the Jetsons. Some have even called it a "marketecture." But Juniper's dead serious about this Infranet thing, so we thought it was important to find out what it's all about.
The idea is to get any device to connect to any other with the appropriate speed, QOS, and security. The necessary tradeoffs among four dimensions – security, speed, reliability, quality of service – need to be handled according to the needs of each particular application. (Connectivity is a fifth dimension but isn't as problematic as the other four.) The challenge is to build a network that can simultaneously weigh all those factors and build connections for applications that suit the range of needs across this four-dimensional spectrum.
So, what Juniper says the telecom industry now needs is a bulletproof packet network that can be adjusted to applications on the fly, depending on where they fit in the four dimensions.
It's a tall order. The stuff we have today won't cut it – as Sindhu freely admits. Sindhu and Juniper are suggesting the industry should put some serious planning into this, with a focus on some new standards (see Juniper Does Vision Thing).
Will it work? Who knows. In order to make it work, Juniper needs to move many of the largest service proviers in the world to support its efforts. Find out more about what this is all about in the following pages: