With the increasing complexity of enterprise data center environments, dynamic business needs and requirements of seamless user experience for employees globally with pervasive cost constraints, many organizations are reevaluating their data center strategies. Organizations want to focus on their core business without adding the complexity of scaling and maintaining infrastructure or teams to manage their data center operations. Therefore, CIOs are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provide expertise and resources, in many cases, as public cloud offerings are often not the right choice.
When managing business-critical data center networks, your enterprise customers really don’t care how you do it. They just want results: a stable, high-performing infrastructure that keeps their business running at a reasonable price. But, for the MPSs tasked with delivering those outcomes, how they do it matters quite a lot. End customers are looking to MSPs to solve their network, security, data, application and hybrid cloud challenges, as MSPs are the experts in providing data center solutions and managed services.
Data center fabrics are like snowflakes. Each customer presents a unique infrastructure with its mix of vendors, architectures and lifecycle requirements. Take the traditional approach—hiring teams of skilled experts to manage each customer environment—and costs can quickly spiral out of control. (That’s assuming you can even acquire and retain those experts in the first place.) So instead, many MSPs look to automate.
In theory, modern automation tools can empower smaller MSP teams to perform more operational tasks for more customers, more quickly and effectively, at a lower cost. Unfortunately, theory doesn’t always translate to reality. Instead, many MSPs find themselves spending almost as much time managing disparate homegrown scripts and automation tools as their customers’ networks.
There is an answer to this dilemma: Juniper Apstra. As the pioneer of the industry’s intent-based multivendor fabric automation solution, Apstra helps enterprises and service providers worldwide reduce operational complexity and costs. A growing number of Juniper System Integrators (SI) and reseller partners use Apstra to deliver managed data center solutions to enterprise customers. As they do, they find that Apstra helps them build a more profitable managed services practice, while giving customers superior service experience and data center networks they can trust.
The Growing Data Center Challenge
Whether building new turnkey solutions or taking over the day-to-day operation of a customer’s existing infrastructure, managed enterprise data center services represent a massive opportunity for Juniper partners. Grand View Research values the overall global market for managed services at more than $267 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% through 2030. The largest share of this market? Managed data center services. It’s not hard to see why.
Operating a modern data center can be expensive for enterprises, requiring significant ongoing investment and expert engineering skills that are getting harder and harder to acquire. In many cases, trying to build and maintain that expertise in-house doesn’t make sense. By outsourcing the design and operation of the data center, enterprises can focus their internal resources on the core business. They can consume the data center services they need under a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) and pay for only what they use.
It’s a great option for many enterprises—and a lucrative opportunity for Juniper partners looking to grow their services business. Provided that partners can deliver high-quality solutions at a price that makes sense for customers, while still being profitable for the MSP. Given the complexity of designing and operating even a single data center network—much less a portfolio of customers using different architectures and vendors—it is not easy to make the numbers work.
Many partners have turned to automation to scale up their capabilities, but automation carries its own risks. Between vendor-provided offerings that work only with certain products, homegrown scripts and automation toolsets for feature parity, and price, MSPs can find themselves navigating dozens of different tools to support their customers’ multivendor networks.
Building Better Services with Apstra
It is a lot easier to grow a profitable services practice when you can standardize network lifecycle operations across all customers and allow engineers to perform the same tasks, in the same way, for every infrastructure. In fact, data center simplification and consistency are the bedrock principles that the cloud hyperscalers have designed their businesses on – it allows them to run their massive infrastructure so nimbly and efficiently. But only one platform available on the market delivers those capabilities across multivendor data center fabrics: Juniper Apstra.
Apstra can help Juniper partners manage multiple customer fabrics more efficiently, effectively and profitably. In a recent study of Apstra customers, Forrester found that Apstra saved organizations thousands of personnel hours across data center design, deployment and ongoing operational tasks, reducing the cost of these operations by 60% and delivering an Return on Investment (ROI) of 320% for a typical customer. Those numbers represent businesses using Apstra in their own data centers; MSPs can multiply those advantages for every customer they manage. Customers noted additional, non-quantifiable benefits such as configuration consistency and standardization across all data centers, scalability of the data center network, ease of Operating System (OS) management and upgrading and more. In summary, Apstra provides:
- Simplified, intent-based automation: Specify at a high level what the data center network needs to do, and Apstra handles the rest—device configurations, OS upgrades and much more—without human operators having to spell out how. You can create blueprints for customer fabrics, and Apstra continuously monitors the infrastructure and validates that it is delivering on the intent of the blueprint. And with the ability to use out-of-the-box templates and push consistent configurations across multivendor customer networks—all from a centralized Graphical User Interface (GUI) control point —you create more standardized, consistent and repeatable operations.
- Multivendor management: You can think of Apstra as an OS for your customers’ data center networks. It integrates vendors, technologies and third-party tools like ServiceNow into a single management and automation platform. As a result, you can more easily onboard customers’ brownfield infrastructures into a managed services practice and quickly create new ones. And in the event of a particular vendor’s lead time disruption, you can quickly insert devices from a different vendor into existing infrastructure. This provides a competitive edge by mitigating supply chain issues and managing costs.
- Superior customer experiences: With Apstra, your teams maintain end-to-end visibility and consistency across the network lifecycle and manage everything centrally (aka, a single pane of glass). You can integrate with tools like ServiceNow to manage service requests seamlessly. And you can quickly detect and diagnose issues across multivendor environments, delivering better-performing, more reliable data centers. Also, it provides superior telemetry, documentation and business agility for customers with the ability to roll out new applications and services quickly.
- Zero Trust security: With the ability to push consistent security configurations and policies across multivendor environments, you can better protect your customer’s data center fabric and meet compliance needs. Apstra helps ensure that security posture is uniformly implemented and monitored for violations.
A Win-Win for Juniper Partners and their Customers
Together, these capabilities create a solid foundation to help Juniper consistently deliver excellent data center services to their customers. Enterprises get a more reliable, better-performing data center infrastructure and gain new business agility with someone else managing their data centers in a better way than previously possible. Enterprises radically simplify their present mode of operation, while setting their business up for the future. And with Apstra’s flexible licensing, they can get pay-as-you-grow data center services that scale with their business.
For Juniper partners themselves? It is now much easier to take on new customers and capitalize on the vast, growing market for data center services. Regardless of the vendors your customers use, whether greenfield or brownfield environments, you can onboard them into a consistent operational framework. And since this framework is so easy to use, you can support all customers with a single pool of experts and low cost of training without constantly trying to hire more skilled staff.
It’s a win-win—and it’s why some of Juniper’s biggest strategic alliances are building their managed services offerings on Apstra. So, when enterprises request MSPs and SIs to build a new data center or take control of an existing one, Juniper Apstra is the right solution. To learn more, please see the Apstra demo and contact Juniper Apstra Sales if you want to grow your organization’s managed services business—or add revenues by directly reselling Apstra to enterprises.