Juniper Networks, an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, has moved service providers, enterprises and cloud providers closer to fully realizing the promise of The Self-Driving Network with Juniper Bots, a series of new applications that simplify network operations by translating intent into automated workflows, as well as updates to the Juniper Extension Toolkit.
Networks have become more complex with the rise of diverse operating conditions that must serve a multitude of applications that often reside across multi-cloud environments. As network operators invest in scaling infrastructure cost-effectively to meet consumer and enterprise demands, complex programming languages that require highly skilled developers have been the only way to automate.
Additionally, the underlying technology has only made small strides in simplifying human-to-machine interaction. Because of this, network automation adoption has slowed. In fact, in a recent study Juniper asked customers and partners to select the biggest barriers to automation:
43 percent noted that the lack of internal education and skillsets prevents the adoption of network automation.
33 percent of respondents also cited the lack of an integrated end-to-end solution as a barrier to network automation efforts.
Compounding the issue, network operators have traditionally only been able to analyze a small portion of all the network data available due to technology shortfalls, and for decades, networking has largely been an exercise in precisely specifying behavior, one configuration knob at a time, device by device. To solve for all of this, Juniper has unveiled Contrail Intent Bots and AppFormix Analytics Bots, both of which change the way network operators interact with the network.
Juniper Bots comprise a growing ecosystem of new software applications focused on intent and analytics that automate workflows and break the cycle of complex machine-focused automation tools.
The bots, which leverage both the Contrail and AppFormix platforms, incorporate real-time analytics that are designed to translate higher-level business requirements (the “what”) into automatic configuration changes across the network (the “how”). New bots that Juniper is announcing today include:
Contrail PeerBot automates the traditionally cumbersome process of network peering – managing multiple Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing and complex policy enforcement – to simplify policy enforcement and on-demand scaling.
Contrail TestBot, an application that’s part of Juniper’s broad effort to help network operators embrace a DevOps approach for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment, automates the continuous auditing of design, provisioning, and deployment changes in the network.
AppFormix HealthBot is a machine learning fitness and health tracker for the network that leverages AppFormix to collect real-time network data and glean insight, HealthBot translates troubleshooting, maintenance, and real-time analytics into an intuitive user experience to give network operators actionable insights into the health of the overall network.
Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET) enhancements: Juniper has extended the current management and control API framework of JET to the data plane, enabling developers to create applications with direct data plane access on Juniper’s vMX and MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers. Developers using JET now have access to advanced network programmability with Junos OS, giving them increased control over the silicon that powers the most programmable edge routers in the industry.
“Operating a network is one of the most resource-intensive IT functions within any enterprise, cloud or service provider organization. Whether it’s ongoing maintenance or moving workloads to the cloud or deploying new services, each step has traditionally required attention to detail and countless hours of planning and execution. Juniper Bots bring us closer to our vision for The Self-Driving Network, one that requires less human intervention and the ability to focus on more strategic business initiatives. To move at the speed of business, network operators need to spend less time precisely managing manual network knobs and levers, and more time expressing intent,” said, Sally Bament, vice president, service provider marketing, Juniper Networks.