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Juniper service provides AI-based network management

News Analysis
Nov 02, 20214 mins
Juniper NetworksNetwork Management SoftwareNetwork Switches

Juniper's Support Insights is a cloud-based service that analyzes device data to ID trouble spots, inventory networks, and more.

Data center / enterprise networking
Credit: Timofeev Vladimir / Shutterstock

Juniper Networks has rolled out a cloud-based service that uses AI to manage everything from network inventory and configuration details to device status and contract information.

Juniper Support Insights securely gathers network information from Juniper’s Junos switching and routing portfolio, including ACX, EX, MX, PTX, QFX, and SRX Series platforms and provides it to the Juniper cloud.

The Junos devices can connect directly to the cloud or via Lightweight Collector, an on-premises appliance that can link up to 20,000 devices to the cloud.

Once connected, information gathered by the devices is correlated against Juniper’s knowledge base to provide details about enterprises networked resources such as device status, network inventory, security, and software licensing, all from a central dashboard.

“The idea is that with Support Insights, IT can be proactive in making changes and spotting problems,” said Derrell James, executive vice president of Juniper Global Services.

James said the data is gathered securely, and none is stored permanently to prevent data leakage. Further, no personally identifiable information is used, and all data flows are encrypted by transport-layer security (TLS).

In addition, Juniper Support Insights includes a secure portal where businesses can manage device onboarding and discovery, as well as access dashboards and reports that provide a holistic view of operational health metrics. The company plans to add more AI-driven functions to the platform to further reduce time spen monitoring and troubleshooting network issues, James said.

The use of AI technology now pervades Juniper’s networking portfolio, anchored by Mist Cloud that includes an AI-based engine called Marvis that uses machine learning to automatically identify, adapt to, and fix network issues.

The natural language-based Marvis engine is at the core of multiple Juniper services, including: Wi-Fi Assurance, which measures performance and service-level metrics for wireless networks; Wired Assurance, which taps into Juniper’s network routers and switches to gather telemetry data that measures network performance; and WAN Assurance, a cloud-based service to gather telemetry data from Juniper SRX, Contrail and other WAN gear and pass that information to Marvis.

It was unclear how Mist and Support Insights might be integrated, but Juniper stated the use cases would be specific to business requirements.

New Wi-Fi 6E routers and NAC for IoT

Juniper also announced two Wi-Fi 6E access points and an IoT Assurance service that streamlines and scales the onboarding and securing of IoT devices that don’s support 802.1 network access control (NAC).

Wi-Fi 6E expands wireliss-network capacity by adding spectrum in the 6 GHz range to to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands available with Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6.

Both new APs support all three bands and a quad-radio. AP45 includes a virtual Bluetooth LE (vBLE) antenna array, and AP 34 includes an omni BLE.

  • AP 45 – featuring a 2.4 GHz/5 GHz/6 GHz quad-radio and a virtual Bluetooth LE (vBLE) antenna array
  • AP 34 – featuring a 2.4 GHz/5 GHz/6 GHz quad-radio and omni BLE

Both APs are managed with the Juniper Mist Cloud to collect and analyze metadata in near real time from wireless clients, wrote Christian Gilby, Juniper senior director of product marketing in a blog about the announcement. “This enables rapid problem detection and root-cause identification with predictive recommendations and proactive troubleshooting.”

Juniper also introduced a service that promises to simplify the management of IoT devices. IoT Assurance can onboard IoT devices and supports features including the ability to assign security policies and segmentation rules.

“Many IoT devices (such as cameras, smart locks, HVAC systems, wearables, sensors, MRI/CT/ultrasound machines, bed monitors and digital displays) do not support 802.1x, so they cannot be onboarded using traditional network access control solutions,” Gilby stated. “Juniper solves this by enabling them to be onboarded at cloud scale using private pre-shared keys (PPSK) which can be easily set up and administered using a self-serve programmable cloud portal.”