This series of blogs is inspired by content originally written by Jac Kloots, Teamlead Network Services at SURFnet.
Part 4 of this blog series outlined the work Juniper Networks’ Elite partner Telindus has undertaken to build the SURFnet8 service layer and the challenge of obfuscating the complexity away from the user.
Project SURFnet8 in Full Swing
For SURF itself, deployment of the new SURFnet network is approaching rapidly. The new optical layer is completely set up and the service layer design is finished—including the hardware and relevant protocols. The first orders for the core routers (Juniper Networks MX Series 2008 routers) mark the kick-off of what should be the last forklift upgrade at SURF. According to plans, the actual core migration will take place in the first half of 2019, after which access and metro sites will be up for review. The full, future-proofed network should be completed by 2020.
Jac Kloots, team manager for fixed network services at SURF, noted that he is very pleased about the collaboration with Juniper Networks and with Telindus. “We have an intensive testing period behind us, in which we regularly called on the resources of Juniper and Telindus. The lines of communication are short. We have quick access to the right people at Juniper Networks as well as at Telindus. Our vision of how the network should look like also clearly corresponds to the vision that Juniper has embraced.”
SURF is working on the continued development of the SURFnet Network Dashboard self-service portal, giving users personal control over their SURFnet connection. “We are working toward a situation in which there are automated workflows for providing services. To that end, we work with service templates that document the description of services for the automated delivery of each service,” added Kloots.
“We see our users’ needs changing, so our services need to be able to adapt to those changes quickly. In addition, there is the logistical complexity that is part and parcel of the roll-out of a new network across nearly 400 locations. Both factors have led us to choose a modular and programmable architecture and a high-level design with independent technology domains. The aim is to be as flexible as possible in the network architecture and service facilities. A key question we needed answered to achieve our design: how we can provide our services to institutions who have less and less IT knowledge in-house, but do want to maintain control of their connection. SURFnet network users continue to ask more questions with regard to ‘what’ they want to do with the network instead of regarding the underlying technology. These are the questions that we, as a service provider, need to be able to answer.”