Juniper Networks is embracing an open campus-fabric management technology supported by other major networking vendors and at the same time making it simpler to use by removing much of the manual work it can require.
The company is adding Ethernet VPN-Virtual Extensible XLAN (EVPN-VXLAN) support to its Mist AI cloud-based management platform let customers streamline network operations.
EVPN-VXLAN separates the underlying physical network from the virtual overlay network offering integrated Layer 2/Layer 3 connectivity as well as programmability, automation and network segmentation among other features. The open technology is offered in a variety of forms by most networking vendors including Cisco, Arista, Aruba and others.
“Many of today’s campus networks leverage proprietary technologies and complicated L2/L3 architectures that weren’t designed to meet modern requirement,” wrote Jeff Aaron, vice president of Enterprise Marketing at Juniper in a blog about the announcement.
“Additionally, mismanagement of configurations and lack of scale make it difficult to maintain an agile environment with mobile users and IoT devices. EVPN-VXLAN is a common and open standard that’s often used to address these challenges.”
But while EVPN-VXLAN brings advantages over traditional fabric-management options, it can be complex to deploy and manage, Aaron stated. It is this “operational burden” Mist is designed to alleviate, Aaron stated.
Adding support for EVPN-VXLAN to Mist Cloud, customers can select a topology, identify required physical connections and apply the correct underlying policies without all the manual intervention typically required for EVPN-VXLAN administration.
Using Mist Cloud for campus fabric environments means the EVPN-VXLAN fabric is managed by the same platform that manages Juniper wired-access functions in the campus—Juniper Mist Wired Assurance and Marvis, the natural-language-based engine at the core of multiple Juniper services, Aaron wrote.
“This not only provides a common operational framework for all wired-access deployment, configuration, and Day 2 operations, but it also delivers on AIOps, simplifying and automating operations with a single AI-driven support model. This enables automated operations and predictive actions that can alleviate problems before they arise,” he stated.
In addition to the EVPN-VXLAN support, Juniper also said it has grown the capabilities of Marvis. The AI-based virtual-network assistant can now detect and correct persistently failing wired/wireless clients, bad cables, access point (AP) coverage holes, bad WAN links and insufficient radio-frequency capacity. Marvis can already handle problems such as misconfigured VLANs, offline devices, non-compliant software, DHCP/802.1x/PSK failures and loops.
“In the case of a bad WAN uplink, Marvis pinpoints the issue highlighting the need to check the connection,” Aaron wrote. “By identifying issues like high latency and jitter, Marvis can indicate that the link is causing a poor user experience downstream. Using details from wireless clients, APs and switches, Marvis is able to determine and isolate the root cause.”
Marvis is at the core of multiple Juniper services, including its Wi-Fi Assurance offering, which measures performance and service-level metrics for wireless networks; Wired Assurance, which taps into Juniper's network routers and switches to gather telemetry data that measures network performance; and WAN Assurance, a cloud-based service that will gather telemetry data from Juniper SRX, Contrail and other WAN gear and pass that information to Marvis.
Most recently Juniper added the ability to manage networks based on the SD-WAN technology it acquired from 128 Technology in December for $450 million to Mist. 128’s key technology is its Session Smart software that promises to reduce the costs of running SD-WAN and WANs by making intelligent routing decisions based on sessions and application needs over individual traditional tunnels.