UPDATED 07:46 EDT / NOVEMBER 11 2019

juniper INFRA

Juniper Networks extends its self-driving network capabilities

Juniper Networks Inc. subsidiary Mist Systems today launched what it calls the industry’s first “AI-Driven Self-Driving Network” for companies that want to set up a cloud-based network with minimal troubleshooting required.

Mist Systems began life as an independent networking startup, focused on using artificial intelligence technologies to automate its customer’s Wi-Fi infrastructure, before it was acquired by Juniper in March for $405 million.

The company sold a cloud-based platform that helps organizations manage the wireless networks at their offices and other corporate locations. Its cloud network infrastructure used machine learning algorithms to automate the day-to-day maintenance tasks necessary to provide steady Wi-Fi access.

One of Mist’s standout features was its “Marvis” virtual assistant, which helps troubleshoot connectivity issues. With Marvis, administrators could access data about malfunctioning network devices via a natural-language search bar that removes the need to write complex queries. So it was possible to type simple questions like “Marvis, what’s wrong with the router in the office lobby?” to find the specific diagnostics information needed to fix it.

The new AI-Driven Self-Driving Network is basically an update to Mist’s existing networking platform. Mist is expanding its capabilities to cover wired networks for the first time, in addition to wireless networks.

It’s also updating Marvis with a new feature called “Marvis Actions” that can take things a step further by automatically diagnosing the root cause of any issues and attempting to resolve them, where possible, without being asked to do so. And if the issue lies outside the domain of the access network, Marvis will provide a set of recommended actions for information technology teams to resolve the issue.

“Marvis Actions takes insight gleaned from our AI engine, such as the root cause of a problem, and turns it into actionable insight for IT managers,” said Sudheer Matta, vice president of product management at Mist. “It is the first and in some instances only place our customers have to look to monitor and manage the health of their Mist network.”

Marvis Actions is available today for Mist customers that have purchased the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant Service.

The update comes as Juniper itself launches a new tool called Contrail Insights that customers can use to add network, server and workload monitoring and analytics capabilities to their private cloud data center operations.

Contrail Insights is available as part of Juniper’s Contrail Enterprise Multicloud networking platform for companies that use a mix of public and private cloud platforms to host their information technology infrastructure. The tool provides insights on both real-time and historic data, plus an advanced search capability to help users to surface issues that crop up.

There’s also a new “overlay/underlay correlation and path finding” feature that allows IT teams to uncover root causes by mapping virtual infrastructure for workloads and network abstractions down upon the physical infrastructure and network.

“Cloud frameworks within data centers have provided tremendous infrastructure automation, but also bring about added operational complexity,” Juniper Chief Technology Officer Bikash Koley said in prepared remarks. “We have designed Contrail Insights to bring visibility to troubleshooting and analytics issues faced today with powerful tools for discovery and analysis through all layers of the network.”

Photo: Juniper Networks

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