For many organisations, network management and IT support can feel like nothing but endless firefighting from dusk until dawn. Ask any CIO and decreasing mean time to respond (MTTRs) and increasing support tickets are probably at the top of their priority list. However, organisations typically face significant challenges in attaining network visibility and operational agility to achieve these targets.
That’s where Juniper Mist and AI-driven operations and support solution aims to make a difference.
The solution promises:
- Faster and easier network deployment
- Fewer mistakes and disruptions
- Lower initial and ongoing costs regarding maintenance, IT, etc.
What Issues Do Organisations Face Regarding Their Network?
By now, just about everyone knows how to manage routers, switches, and access points. However, many still lack proper real-time visibility into how their network is functioning and what the user experience is like at any moment. This makes it impossible for businesses to combat issues proactively.
Using conventional methods, support has to wait until after an issue starts disrupting operations, and someone creates a ticket before realising a problem exists. From here, it’s already a game of catchup, trying to address the issue while minimising the impact reactively.
However, conventional access points don’t necessarily surface the data needed to act effectively or to feed AI network management solutions. So, teams are stuck using inefficient methods, like trial and error and one-by-one elimination.
Larger organisations also face issues regarding long-term scalability, flexibility, and maintenance. A Juniper Mist client, and one of the largest banks in the world, owned a network of 30,000 access points. However, at least 25% of them would not support a fix to address a severe network vulnerability actively being exploited. Simply replacing access points was also not an option because it was unknown where all were located.
In cases like these, remediation could lead to more risk than simply living with the existing exposure.
Imagine another scenario involving a hospital where literal lives are at stake. When and how do you decide to risk potentially extended downtime by upgrading seriously outdated controller code?
While location services are nothing new, using them still poses significant challenges. Most solutions consisted of manually installing, maintaining, and configuring Bluetooth beacons. Constantly changing batteries and calibrating for accuracy is a significant drain on time and resources. At the same time, out-of-the-box solutions lacked the flexibility, ownership, and open APIs to be helpful in various applications.
Last but not least, large-scale tunnelled architectures pose massive challenges regarding scalability, performance, and security.
What Does Juniper Mist Do Differently?
The vision behind Juniper Mist was to create an AI-driven operation and support system for small, medium, and large enterprises. Juniper Mist is easy to deploy, only requiring a Wi-Fi chipset and no specialised software. The rollout is mainly automated, minimising potential configuration errors through zero-trust provisioning and automated IoT onboarding.
Juniper Mist helps organisations overcome the above challenges by providing:
- Client-level visibility: Juniper Mist can automatically detect incidents, such as an unresponsive DHCP server or DNS, that fail to resolve. It also tracks metrics like TTC (time to connect) and throughput for all network access points. Mist can “see” issues before support tickets are created and take remedial action or alert IT support. This results in better network operations thanks to fewer tickets and improved MTTR.
- AI-driven operations and support: The above data and information is automatically surfaced to the cloud. The system feeds the AI engine with information collected via dynamic packet capture. The AI engine then conducts automated root cause analysis to determine the next steps.
- Microservice architecture: Juniper Mist avoids many of the pitfalls regarding scalability and agility in large-scale enterprise networks thanks to a microservices architecture. Together, Juniper and Mist have built the largest controller business in the world.
- Digital engagement: Juniper Mist’s location services utilise BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology. This enables fully integrated location services with real-time tracking of user experience metrics.
- 100% Open AI architecture: Instead of building on or converting legacy architecture and potentially inheriting many of its challenges, Mist was built from scratch. That allowed them to create an API-first architecture that directly communicates with a GUI and is fully integrable with third-party apps and software.
Juniper Mist has just developed a third-generation SD-WAN integration to collect telemetry on these networks. It’s based on a tunnel-less, zero-trust architecture that circumvents many of the security and load-handling challenges associated with these networks while lowering latency.
In this way, Juniper Mist offers clear, end-to-end visibility from the client to the cloud in any network.
Magic Quadrant Leader
According to Gartner, Juniper Mist is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its Juniper AI-driven enterprise (AIDE) offering includes EX series switches, QFX series switches and Mist AI access points, which address most use cases across large-enterprise and MSE markets. Juniper’s client base is globally diverse, with a particular focus on the enterprise market as well as retail, education, government and healthcare.
The company continues to invest in integrated AI and ML operations, as well as cloud-based security capabilities. Gartner expects that Juniper will also invest significantly in bringing a NaaS offering to market.