Network Access Control (NAC) is an essential element of implementing zero trust access control for employees, guests and IoT endpoints, centralizing AAA for network devices and firewalls, and securing corporate SSIDs and wall-jacks. But traditional NAC solutions have inherent limitations. By leveraging on-premises hardware built using monolithic code bases, they are often complex to deploy and operate and can be cost prohibitive to scale.
Sound familiar? This is a similar limitation that we observed in the wireless space many years ago, leading to the creation of Mist Systems. Back then, when Bob Friday and I founded Mist, we were the first to recognize that the modern networking era requires new AI-driven solutions orchestrated with a modern cloud architecture to replace outdated WLAN controller architectures.
After the acquisition of Mist by Juniper in 2019, the same paradigm – cloud-hosted AIOps – was extended to wired access. In doing so, Juniper fundamentally changed campus and branch networks for the better. This has been borne out by marquee customer wins, as well as the most recent Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Wired and Wireless Access Infrastructure where Juniper Networks is a Leader, furthest in both Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute.
And Juniper is doing the same with AI-driven SD-WAN. After acquiring 128 Technology a little over one year ago, Juniper “Mist-ified” our unique session smart routing technology in record time to bring amazing performance, flexibility, scale, insight and cost savings to the WAN edge.
Given all the synergies described above, it should be no surprise that Juniper is keen to disrupt the NAC space with a modern, AI-driven solution born in the cloud. The recent acquisition of WiteSand takes us one step closer to this goal.
With WiteSand comes a treasure trove of talent, technology and early traction that is a perfect complement to Juniper’s industry-leading development team. This includes constant enhancement to the Mist AI engine to optimize both user and operator experiences, as well as continued innovation within our Juniper Mist cloud services like Wireless Assurance, Wired Assurance, Marvis Virtual Network Assistant and the recently launched IoT Assurance that delivers scalable IoT security for enterprise customers, including policy assignments, segmentation, traffic engineering and key lifecycle management. By bringing great NAC technology together with Juniper’s award-winning cloud, AIOps and wired and wireless platforms, our customers can finally say goodbye to expensive on-premises NAC boxes, complicated policy creation/orchestration, static operations and limited NAC scalability.
Juniper has a proven AIOps playbook that has catapulted the company to a leading position in the campus and branch. By adding key NAC talent and technology from WiteSand to the Juniper AI-driven enterprise, Juniper’s client-to-cloud portfolio just became even stronger. Here’s to another successful acquisition!