Juniper Networks , an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, kicked off its first software-defined networking (SDN) and network automation “Throwdown” workshop and competition at its Sunnyvale headquarters. As part of Juniper’s ongoing OpenLab Silicon Valley program, the event provides college-student participants with hands-on education and hacking experience through workshop lectures and training focused on the emerging SDN technology revolution.
Thirty students from various universities, including CSU East Bay, Carnegie Mellon, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and UC Santa Cruz, will participate in the competition, spanning from February 21-28, 2017. Participants will apply their learnings and work in teams to create solutions that address a real-world network automation challenge. Solutions created during the workshop will be presented to a panel of judges on the last day, with winners and awards announced on February 28.
Juniper’s OpenLab program aims to address a larger industry need for SDN and network automation education and training, which was revealed by a global report from Wakefield Research and Juniper Networks that showed nearly half of IT decision makers surveyed believe their workforce will not have the skills needed for their individual business roles within the next five years.
“Juniper’s OpenLab was established to catalyze new ideas and solutions for network innovation through education and collaboration. Now more than ever, it is critical to develop the current and future workforce’s skills so that companies can prepare and respond to changes in the industry. OpenLab’s Throwdowns encourage and foster the next generation of networking professionals by bringing together students and industry leaders to develop creative ways to solve networking challenges,” shared Mike Marcellin, chief marketing officer at Juniper Networks.
Having opened its doors in October 2016, OpenLab Silicon Valley gives university students, customers, partners and other networking industry leaders the opportunity to learn about and work with Juniper’s automation products and tools to spark the development of innovative services and applications. In addition to its flagship location in New Jersey and Silicon Valley, Juniper Networks announced the global expansion of its OpenLab program last year to Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney, as Juniper continues to catalyze networking innovation worldwide.