Juniper Networks unveils AI-driven SD-WAN solution to help IT teams identify network issues

Juniper Networks announced that customers and partners can now fully deploy, configure and operate the company’s Session Smart Router (SSR) technology via the Mist cloud and AI engine.

Juniper Networks SSR technology

This represents a major step forward in the Juniper AI-driven enterprise across wired access, wireless access and SD-WAN domains. In addition, Juniper has expanded the already robust security capabilities of the Juniper SSR portfolio with enhanced IDS/IPS and URL filtering capabilities and made it easier to get SSR up and running with new cloud-ready appliances with Zero Touch Provisioning.

With these new AI-driven SD-WAN capabilities brought to market, Juniper has raised the bar for ease of deployment, secure operations and troubleshooting in WAN edge environments.

“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. “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.”

Shortly after the acquisition of 128 Technology, Juniper brought AI-driven operations to SSR with the launch of the Juniper Mist WAN Assurance cloud service. This lowered the cost of Day 2+ SD-WAN operations with powerful AI-driven features like service level expectations (SLEs), predictive insights, anomaly detection and automated troubleshooting.

In addition, Juniper’s AI-powered virtual network assistant, Marvis, was extended to cover SSR, helping IT teams quickly identify and fix network issues using natural language queries, often before users even know they exist.

Juniper is now completing the AI-driven SD-WAN vision by adding day 0/1 SSR operations into the Mist Cloud. This includes many of the configuration elements found in the current on-prem Session Smart Conductor, such as the definition and enforcement of routing and security policies, peer path configuration and more.

By fully integrating SSR with the Mist Cloud and AI engine, customers and partners have all the tools necessary for full lifecycle management of the entire branch networking stack, with centralized operations and self-driving actions to optimize user experiences and lower costs.

New cloud-ready appliances

Session Smart Routers have earned industry recognition as software-based solutions capable of running on any x86 platform (including the Juniper NFX Series of universal CPE devices). To further simplify the procurement and onboarding of branch sites, Juniper is launching a new series of SSR-branded appliances that are fully operated from the Mist Cloud.

These new SSR hardware devices provide simplified procurement and deployment with Zero Touch Provisioning via a claim code. By leveraging the same procurement process as wired and wireless access switches, Juniper delivers a simple, seamless solution for the “pop-up” branch.

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

Enhanced security

The SSR solution has always stood out in the SD-WAN space for its zero-trust stance on networking – i.e., no traffic is passed unless SSR policies are met (bidirectionally). Juniper is adding even more security to the SSR solution with a new Branch Security Pack, an add-on SKU to the base SSR package that adds URL Filtering and Intrusion Detection/Prevention System (IDS/IPS). This is achieved without the need for additional security appliances, saving customers and partners in both capital and operational investments.

“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. 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,” said Brandon Butler, IDC Research Manager, Enterprise Networks.

“As a global service provider servicing 63 countries across the MEA region, we know firsthand how distance can impact the performance and reliability of the network. Juniper’s innovative AI-driven SD-WAN technology makes it easy to onboard a full stack solution. Once operational it can identify a problem and automatically decide on the best and most effective resolution possible, without any user intervention. We believe the level of intelligence delivered as part of this full stack solution will make it even easier to continue to provide secure, fantastic user experiences across the globe,” said Marisa Trisolino, CEO, CMC Networks.

“Momentum Telecom has utilized Juniper networking technologies for quite some time, and the convergence of Wired, Wireless and WAN under a single AI-driven cloud platform is a huge benefit for us. Enabling IT teams to seamlessly integrate into one big picture view all while incorporating Mist AI to visualize the user experience and quickly take corrective action just makes sense. As a managed cloud services provider offering many features that employ the latest technologies, this is an incredibly attractive offering for our customers, and makes it easy for them to acquire and deploy value-add services without having to compile solutions from multiple vendors,” said Mark Marquez, Executive Vice President of Technology, Momentum Telecom.

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