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Juniper extends AI-driven network insights to WAN and branch locations

Additionally, Juniper is bringing an AIOps conversational interface to networking.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Juniper Networks on Wednesday announced it's extending AI-driven insights to WAN and branch networks with a new cloud-based service called Juniper Mist WAN Assurance. Additionally, the company is introducing a new conversational interface to networking operations, enabling either IT teams or end users to more easily communicate with Marvis, Juniper's virtual network assistant. 

The new capabilities are a part of Juniper's growing focus on AI-driven operations, which it stepped up last year with its acquisition of Mist Systems. Mist and Juniper have already delivered AI-driven networking operations to the enterprise with wi-fi, wired and security services. With the addition of WAN, Juniper says it can provide customers with end-to-end AI-enhanced visibility. 

Ultimately, the goal is to use AI to shift the focus from network and application behavior to the actual user experience. 

The new Juniper Mist WAN Assurance service streams key telemetry data from Juniper SRX devices to the cloud-based Mist AI engine. This enables customizable WAN service levels, and it allows for a proactive response to anomaly detections. The service works with Marvis to correlate events across the LAN, WLAN and WAN for rapid fault isolation and resolution. 

"Today when large enterprises have a problem, they don't know where to look," Sujai Hajela, Mist co-founder and Juniper SVP, said to ZDNet. Juniper Mist WAN Assurance aims to solve that problem. 

Meanwhile, with the new conversational interface for Marvis, customers will be able to learn about their networks with natural language questions such as, "What was wrong with Bob's Zoom call yesterday?"

With the new interface, Marvis can provide answers to questions based on its access to a large knowledge base, with interactive queries for further help. It leverages reinforcement learning to get better at answering questions over time. 

Since the Mist acquisition, Juniper has started rearranging its enterprise business unit around the notion of "AI-driven enterprise," Hajela said. The reformatted business unit, led by Hajela, brings wired access, wireless access and WAN under common leadership with dedicated sales, marketing and engineering. 

"The only way to quantify end user experience is to use AI," he said, with a "cloud stack built from the ground up built to handle AI. We are now extending that paradigm across Juniper."

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