New AI-Driven SD-WAN Capabilities Brought to Market by Juniper

Juniper Networks clients and partners may now use the company’s Mist cloud and AI engine to fully deploy, configure, and run the Juniper’s unique Session Smart Router (SSR) technology. According to the network solutions vendor itself, this is a significant step forward for the Juniper AI-driven enterprise in the wired, wireless, and SD-WAN domains.

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Juniper stated it has also extended the Juniper SSR portfolio’s already strong security capabilities with better IDS/IPS and URL filtering capabilities. Next to that, the company made it easier for clients to get SSR up and running with new cloud-ready appliances with Zero Touch Provisioning.

Juniper Networks says it has lifted the standard for simplicity of deployment, secure operations, and troubleshooting in WAN edge environments by bringing these new AI-driven SD-WAN features to market.

“Juniper is executing on a simple vision – AI-driven operations deliver the best user experiences from client to cloud,” said Sudheer Matta, Vice President of products at Juniper Networks. “Nowhere is this more important than in the WAN edge, so Juniper has put considerable energy into advancing the first truly AI-driven SD-WAN solution born in the modern cloud. SSR is key to this mission, as it brings unique simplicity, scale, security and performance to WAN edge environments. Combined with our award-winning wireless and wired portfolios driven by Mist AI, this enables the best end-to-end experiences across the board.”

Mist Cloud, AI engine

Photo Sudheer Matta, VP of products at Juniper Networks
“Juniper is executing on a simple vision – AI-driven operations deliver the best user experiences from client to cloud,” said Sudheer Matta, VP of products at Juniper Networks.

Juniper launched the Juniper Mist WAN Assurance cloud service shortly after acquiring 128 Technology, bringing AI-driven operations to SSR. With sophisticated AI-driven capabilities like service level expectations (SLEs), predictive insights, anomaly detection, and automated troubleshooting, the cost of Day 2+ SD-WAN operations was reduced. In addition, Juniper’s AI-powered virtual network assistant, Marvis, has been expanded to include SSR, allowing IT staff to swiftly discover and resolve network issues using natural language inquiries, sometimes before users are even aware of them.

Juniper Networks has now added day 0/1 SSR operations to their Mist Cloud, completing the AI-driven SD-WAN vision. Many of the configuration aspects included in the current on-prem Session Smart Conductor, such as routing and security policy design and enforcement, peer path setup, and more, are included. Clients and partners have all the tools they need for complete lifecycle management of the whole branch networking stack, stated Juniper, with centralized operations and self-driving actions to enhance user experiences and save costs, thanks to SSR’s integration with the Mist Cloud and AI engine.

“As one of the fastest-growing segments of the network infrastructure market, SD-WAN is designed to improve user and application experiences, while enabling seamless connectivity and security to the cloud,” said Brandon Butler, IDC Research Manager, Enterprise Networks. “Juniper’s AI-driven SD-WAN aims to simplify branch operations via integrations with the company’s WAN Assurance visibility and analytics platform and its existing Juniper Mist Wi-Fi and Wired Assurance products, which leverage the natural language processing capabilities of Marvis. These types of advancements will continue to make SD-WAN a key technology for enterprises as they look to build out their digital transformation journeys in 2022 and beyond.”

New Cloud-Ready Appliances

Session Smart Routers are well-known in the market as software-based solutions that can run on any x86 platform (including the Juniper NFX Series of universal CPE devices). Juniper is developing a new range of SSR-branded appliances that are completely controlled from the Mist Cloud to make branch site procurement and onboarding easier. With Zero Touch Provisioning through a claim code, these new SSR hardware devices would simplify procurement and deployment. Juniper says it provides a straightforward, seamless solution for the ‘pop-up’ branch by using the same procurement procedure as wired and wireless access switches.

The SSR120 and SSR130 appliances, which provide small and medium branch platforms with several WAN link choices, including LTE, as well as the SSR1000 line, which is positioned for head-end, data center, and cloud deployments, are part of the SSR series of appliances.

Enhances Security

In the SD-WAN arena, the SSR solution has long stood out for its zero-trust approach to networking, according to Juniper – i.e., no traffic is passed unless SSR policies are met (bidirectionally). Juniper has released a new Branch Security Pack, an add-on SKU to the main SSR package that adds URL Filtering and Intrusion Detection/Prevention System (IDS/IPS) to the SSR solution. Clients and partners may save money on both capital and operating investments since this is accomplished without the need of extra security equipment.