Juniper adds more smarts to its SD-WAN

Juniper’s Session Smart upgrades help speed deployment, boost security, and embrace the cloud.

SD-WAN
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Juniper Networks is expanding its portfolio of cloud-based, AI-driven services aimed at managing and controlling intelligent enterprise SD-WAN networks.

The latest additions build on Session Smart Routing (SSR) software Juniper acquired when it bought 128 Technology in 2020 for $450 million. SSR promises to reduce the costs of running WANs and SD-WANs by making intelligent routing decisions based on sessions and application needs running over individual traditional tunnels.

The additions include zero-touch provisioning with WAN topology configuration, security-policy configuration, WAN service and policy configuration, network-tenancy configuration, and network configuration.

These features are enabled through Juniper’s core Mist AI cloud-based wireless and wired network management platform, according to Jeff Aaron, vice president of enterprise marketing at Juniper Networks. Fully integrating SSR with the Mist Cloud and AI engine, provides tools for lifecycle management of the branch-networking stack, Aaron said.

Last year, the company added the ability to bring telemetry data from SSR into the Mist AI engine, to enable setting, monitoring, and enforcing service levels across the WAN, proactively detect anomalies, and gain enhanced insight into WAN conditions.

“Juniper customers and partners now have a single, complete cloud-hosted AI-driven solution for managing the entire AI-driven enterprise with Day 0, 1 and 2+ operations for wired, wireless and secure SD-WAN,” Aaron said.  

Juniper also upgraded SSR security by adding IDS/IPS and URL filtering that “…further protects branch sites from advanced malicious attacks that have been on the rise,” Aaron said. 

SSR already included encryption, segmentation, and a Zero Trust framework whereby traffic is not passed over the WAN unless it complies with session-level policies, Aaron said. 

SSR can be run in virtualized hosted private clouds and in public clouds including Amazon Web Services, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform to secure cloud on-ramps. For deployment in private clouds, the software works with cloud management platforms including OpenStack and VMware’s vCloud Director.

New SSR hardware

Juniper has also added new SSR hardware devices—the SSR120 and SSR130 and the SSR1000. The SSR120 and SSR130 families are aimed at small and medium branches and support multiple WAN options including LTE. The SSR1000 line is positioned for head-end, data-center, and cloud deployments.

The idea behind the new appliances is simplicity, Aaron said.

“With zero-touch provisioning via a claim code, all the customer or partner must do is plug in the appliance, and it is automatically added to the appropriate groups with proper configuration and policy assignments. This enables large scale deployments to happen very quickly. Because it is a Juniper-branded device, both the hardware and software are covered via Juniper’s various support options,” Aaron said.  

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