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ICYMI: Juniper launches SDN network design training program

Juniper announces a new network design training and certification program, while AT&T issues a network design challenge for students.

Juniper Networks introduced a certification program for network design that includes the latest approaches to software-controlled networking.

The Design Training and Certification curriculum includes instruction in software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). The program provides resources and tools for building, expanding, securing and automating networks. Instruction is open to all IT professionals.

Topics range from the fundamentals of network design and maintenance to the specific requirements for data centers and wide-area networks. Specialized training is available for people working in financial or cloud services or the federal government.

The first course in the curriculum, which covers design fundamentals, is now available. Juniper will offer three levels of certification -- design associate, specialist and professional. Juniper's certification initiative comes as some experts question the need for vendor-provided certification in SDN. Last October, a panel at Interop in New York City said hardware vendors like Cisco and Juniper did not provide the programming skills necessary for software-driven networks. The panel recommended taking lower-level classes for networking basics and seeking advanced courses in programming and management elsewhere.

AT&T announces SDN design challenge

AT&T issued a challenge to academics and researchers across the country to help improve network routing, as the carrier makes its transition to software-defined networking. Under the terms of the contest, AT&T said it will award $50,000 and up to two summer internships to the winning institution that submits the most cost-effective and efficient routing method.

AT&T has a goal to virtualize 75% of its network by 2020 and is using different strategies to do so, including holding research challenges like this one. Through the AT&T SDN Network Design Challenge, AT&T said it hopes to better understand different methods of improving routing and network virtualization, including the use of "flow-based" routing, which has already proven successful in data centers.

Read the full release here and find out more about the rules of the contest.

Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts huge IP traffic growth

Reflecting the rapid growth rate of Internet connections, personal devices, video services and faster broadband speeds, Internet Protocol (IP) traffic is expected to skyrocket over the next four years. According to this year's Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), the amount of IP traffic generated by the Internet on an annual basis is estimated to almost triple between 2014 and 2019, reaching a record 2 zettabytes (2 billion terabytes).That rate of growth is unprecedented, Cisco said, citing research that indicates it will take 32 years -- from 1984 through 2016 -- for the Internet to hit the 1 zettabyte-per-year milestone.

By 2019, Cisco predicts that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes per month, almost three times the 59.9 exabytes of IP traffic generated each month in 2014. In 2019 alone, Cisco said, IP traffic will equal all of the traffic in all prior years of the Internet (1984-2013). The forecast said many factors, including global video content, global mobile data and global consumer VoD traffic, will fuel the transmission of IP traffic in the coming years.

Read the entire report right here.

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