Experience-First Networking is Here
Juniper Networks’ campus and branch customers recognize the value of real AIOps. From five of the Fortune/Global 10, to the top university in the world, to the largest healthcare system in the United States, Mist AI not only minimizes IT costs by simplifying operations, it also provides the necessary insight and actions to optimize end-user experiences.
Arguably, Juniper was the first to recognize and deliver on the benefits of AIOps for wired and wireless via Mist AI and subsequently earned distinction by many of the top industry analysts for our unique vision and ability to execute on a client-to-cloud experience. While the rest of the industry has started to copy this message recently, we believe that others are nowhere close to delivering on the promise of the AI-driven enterprise, both in terms of depth of features and breadth of portfolio. In fact, we chuckle when we see headlines from competing vendors like, “AI Configuration, AI DFS Configuration, AI-Driven Quarantine…Coming Soon!”
While the rest of the industry is busy cobbling together their AI stories and promising great things to come, Juniper driven by Mist AI just keeps delivering. Today, we announced new enhancements to the AI-Driven Enterprise portfolio that raise the bar that much higher, including:
– The new EX4400 Switch: The industry’s most advanced secure access switch, born in the AI era and optimized for the cloud
– WAN Assurance and Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) for Session Smart SD-WAN
– Enhanced SRX Series Next-Generation Firewall operations driven by Mist AI
A Leader in Wired and Wireless Access
With the introduction of the new EX4400 today, we believe we are poised to hit the supercharger on the success of our AI-driven enterprise. The EX4400 is not only a best-in-class access switch, but also the industry’s first access switching platform designed from the ground up for an Experience-First Network that is cloud-operated and features integrated AIOps to simplify operations from Day 0 to Day 2 and beyond.
The vision for the AI-driven enterprise first started at Mist Systems, where we demonstrated how machine learning and artificial intelligence could be applied to Wi-Fi to provide much needed automation, insight and self-driving actions. Mist was acquired by Juniper to apply this successful AIOps formula to the rest of the networking stack. By bringing wired, SD-WAN and security under the same Mist AI umbrella as wireless, we are bringing our users – the network architects, builders and operators – at the center of all that we do, so that their users – the salesperson giving a demo over Teams, the associate using a point-of-sale scanner in a store, students engaging in remote classes with Zoom from their dorm room and the developer coding the next billion-dollar app – are as happy and productive as possible. This is what we call Experience-First Networking.
Within six months of the Mist Systems acquisition, the Juniper team took the first step on this journey by bringing AlOps to wired access. More specifically, we added Wired Assurance and Marvis VNA to our EX Series access switches, revolutionizing the way the access network is operated. This led to a banner year for Juniper’s campus and branch switching business. Despite a global pandemic, Juniper booked more EX units in 2020 than ever!
Introducing the EX4400 Switch
The EX4400 builds on this campus and branch switching success with world-class features that differentiate Juniper from the competition and deliver great user experiences. For example, it supports standards-based microsegmentation via EVPN-VXLAN, enabling fabrics to be seamlessly extended to the access layer for greater network scalability, agility and security. In addition, with our unique group-based policy (GBP), operators can consistently apply and control security policies at a granular level and isolate workloads based on applications, IoT device type, business functions or users. The EX4400 also provides important security capabilities like MACsec AES256 for point-to-point encryption, as well as line-rate flow-based telemetry that is built into silicon. This allows our customers to improve security by monitoring traffic flows for anomalies and also fuel the Mist AI engine with rich streaming data and metadata needed to deliver on real AIOps. Finally, with Wired Assurance and Marvis VNA driven by Mist AI, operators can easily find “needle in a haystack” problems like bad cabling and misconfigured VLANs and gain insight into the wired switching domain with simple language queries like, “What was wrong with the 2nd floor switch?”
Driving Toward the Secure AI-Driven SD-WAN
2020 was also a big year for our SD-WAN portfolio. We extended Mist AI to the SRX Series Services Gateway, our flagship secure SD-WAN router with integrated advanced security firewall. This enables customers to set and enforce service levels that ensure optimal user experiences across the WAN and leverage the Marvis VNA for simple troubleshooting and insight.
Additionally, at the end of 2020, Juniper acquired 128 Technology, bringing their unique Session Smart router to the Juniper WAN Edge portfolio. Session Smart routing delivers on the promise of SD-WAN 3.0 with a tunnel free solution that improves performance, simplifies management and adds zero-trust security. Session Smart routing disrupts the traditional tunnel-based overlay model with an innovative, service-based routing approach. Customers get granularity and visibility into their applications since Session Smart makes networking decisions based on user-level information instead of the conventional network data approach.
Today, we announced two big steps that build on the above and bring us one step closer to our vision of unified WLAN/LAN/WAN and secure connectivity integration under a single Mist AI engine.
Mist AI Meets the Session Smart Routing SD-WAN Portfolio and Brings AIOps to the SRX
We’ve brought Mist AI to the Session Smart routing SD-WAN portfolio. By ingesting telemetry data from Session Smart routers into the Mist AI engine, customers can now set, monitor and enforce service levels across the WAN, proactively detect anomalies and other edge events and gain enhanced insight into WAN conditions to assure optimal user experiences. In addition, the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (driven by Mist AI) can be used to troubleshoot Session Smart SD-WAN environments using natural language queries and take proactive actions to correct issues before user experience is impacted. For those keeping score, these new AI-driven features were delivered less than six weeks from the acquisition close. Talk about an amazing engineering effort! No one executes like Juniper can. And to help customers easily deploy their network and accelerate time to revenue, Juniper’s Session Smart SD-WAN service solution offers turn-key build, operate, manage and transfer capabilities.
Additionally, we’ve expanded the cloud and AlOps management capabilities of the SRX to make it even simpler to deploy and manage. The SRX Series of secure branch gateways can now be onboarded and configured using Mist AI and the cloud. With zero touch provisioning (ZTP) and automated workflows, Juniper simplifies deployment of these devices. In addition, Juniper customers can now handle simple branch router and security connectivity operations via the same platform as wired and wireless access, which streamlines operations, lowers costs and minimizes headaches.
Juniper always had one of the most robust platforms for protecting against exploits, malware, C2 communication and zero-day threats, as evidenced by ICSA Labs’ recent report where Juniper received a 100% security effectiveness rating with zero false positives. By bringing these security features within the SRX together with the session integrity and Zero Trust Network Access provided by Session Smart Routing, Juniper is delivering exceptional security to our SD-WAN customers.
Experience-First Networking: From Unique Vision to Client-to-Cloud Execution
Our vision is clear: to deliver an Experience-First Network from client-to-cloud driven by the Mist AI engine. Our ability to execute on this vision has propelled us into a leadership position for wired and wireless access, which we are building upon with the new EX4400. And we are following the same playbook for SD-WAN by bringing Session Smart Routing under the Mist AI umbrella and expanding the cloud and AIOps management capabilities of the branch SRX.
We are so fortunate to have amazing customers that have partnered with us every step of the way to deliver on this vision. Couple that with an amazing engineering team that can do the impossible in mere weeks – we believe Juniper is invincible in the enterprise in 2021.