Juniper Networks on Tuesday announced updates to its enterprise portfolio that will make it easier for organizations to deploy, operate and troubleshoot campus networks.
The enhancements include a new campus fabric management capability that should help enterprises handle the growing number of mobile and IoT devices on their networks. Juniper is also expanding the capabilities of the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant to offer more proactive problem remediation.
Both updates are ultimately about improving the user experience, said Christian Gilby, Juniper's Senior Director of Product Marketing for the AI-driven enterprise.
"It's about the user device experience, but it's also about IT experience," he told ZDNet. "I think that's been one of the things that the industry has really not paid enough attention to in the past -- how do we make it easier for an IT team to manage and operate the network, especially if you look at what's been going on devices-wise. You've got more and more devices coming into the network, and you've got to start to automate and leverage AI so that you can deal with all of those devices."
Juniper is giving customers AI-driven campus fabric management capabilities via Juniper Mist Wired Assurance, the platform used to manage wired access in the campus. With EVPN-VXLAN campus fabric management, customers will be able to segment traffic in critical ways. A health care customer, for example, may have to segment its network to handle a growing number of device types, from patient smartphones connecting to Netflix to heart monitors and infusion pumps.
Traditionally, campus networks have used VLANs for fabric management, but that solution doesn't offer the ability to scale or segregate traffic as today's device landscape requires.
"For example, you don't want an HVAC system on the same network as a point of sale, because historically a lot of those security breaches have happened there," Gilby said. "So it's all about how do we secure the network and do it with simplicity."
The Juniper Mist Cloud gives administrators a simple UI from which they can choose a topology, define networks of interest, identify required physical connections and apply the correct underlying policies.
Meanwhile, Juniper is also expanding the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) for AI-driven, proactive troubleshooting. Marvis Actions takes insight derived from the Mist AI engine, such as the root cause of a problem, and recommends solutions for IT managers. Juniper is adding new actions, including persistently failing wired/wireless clients, bad cables, access point (AP) coverage holes, bad WAN links and insufficient RF capacity, among others.
One of Juniper's customers, a large retailer, used the service to analyze its more than 150,000 store access points. It found coverage holes in seven of its stores.
"It's for a needle in the haystack kinds of problems, and this is what AI is really well suited to do," Gilby said.