Home Market Juniper says new bots take self-driving networks closer to reality

Juniper says new bots take self-driving networks closer to reality

Network infrastructure provider Juniper Networks claims its release of new bots brings self-driving  networks closer to reality, with the new applications simplifying network operations by translating intent into automated workflows.

Juniper claims it has moved service providers, enterprises and cloud providers closer to fully realising the promise of the self-driving network, and as 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.

“Operating a network is one of the most resource-intensive IT functions within any enterprise, cloud or service provider organisation,” said Sally Bament, vice-president, service provider marketing, Juniper Networks.

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.”

According to Juniper, 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.

Bament says that, additionally, the underlying technology has only made small strides in simplifying human-to-machine interaction, and because of this, network automation adoption has slowed.

According to Rajesh Ghai, research director, Carrier Network Infrastructure, IDC, Juniper’s announcement “is clearly in the realm of what service providers and enterprises are likely to increasingly prioritise in the future – network automation leveraging machine learning and AI”.

“Juniper as a pre-eminent networking vendor appears to have taken the lead in making the vision of a Self-Driving Network a reality.”

Juniper cites a recent study it undertook where it asked customers and partners to select the biggest barriers to automation:

  •     43% noted that the lack of internal education and skillsets prevents the adoption of network automation.
  •     33% of respondents also cited the lack of an integrated end-to-end solution as a barrier to network automation efforts.

The new bots that Juniper has just announced 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.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).