Juniper Networks infuses AI to pump up automation capabilities

by | Jul 13, 2022 | Technology

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Juniper Networks today announced several new features and products that bolster its AI-driven networking capabilities. The company has extended its Mist technology to operate across the wired network, data center and, most recently, SD-WAN. 

In 2019, Juniper paid a little over $400 million to acquire Mist Systems, which looks like a steal now because it has become the cornerstone of the company’s AI strategy. At acquisition time, Mist was arguably the best AI engine for WiFi. The company started with wireless LAN, which can be the hardest area of networking to troubleshoot as the root cause can be difficult to diagnose. Our research has found that some engineers spend up to one-quarter of their time doing nothing but troubleshooting WiFi issues. 

This most recent set of announcements builds on current capabilities and advances Juniper’s “Experience-First Networking” vision, where the network must be capable of delivering best-in-class user and customer experiences. New capabilities include: 

Improved wireless performance with automatic placement and orientation of Juniper Access Points (APs) 

The placement of APs is both critical to a great wireless experience and challenging to get right. Typically, IT pros will run a site survey and then use that as the plan as to where to place them and how to orient them. Site surveys can often miss things in buildings that could impair performance. Also, it’s easy for a network engineer to misread the plan and place the APs in the wrong location.

Another factor is that things change in a building and the site survey might be correct now but things like new equipment, floor redesign or electronics can warrant the need for new AP placement.

Juniper Mist now automatically validates the actual placement and orientation of APs post-install and highlights any misplaced APs that need correction. The feature uses the Juniper Wired Assurance service, which uses the company’s virtual Bluetooth Low Energy (vBLE) antenna arrays combined with machine learning-based algorithms to automatically place Mist Wi-Fi 6 or 6E APs on a map in the Juniper Mist dashboard.

The location, orientation, and distance between APs are calculated and shown to reduce — or even elimi …

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