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Juniper broadens SD-Branch management, switch options

Juniper broadens SD-Branch management, switch options

Juniper expands Contrail SD-WAN package to include support for SD-LAN operations.

Credit: Juniper Networks

Juniper has taken the wraps off new software and switches that are designed to broaden user options in deploying software-defined branch offices and enterprise networks.

The company bolstered its Contrail SD-WAN cloud package to include support for SD-LAN-specific operations, such as provisioning of new devices and managing branch office LANs. 

"From one cloud portal, customers can now provision Juniper EX Series switches to manage LAN fabrics and configure LAN virtualization and security policies in the same way they operate their SD-WAN environments," wrote Manoj Leelanivas, chief product officer at Juniper, in a blog about the enhancements. "This automated functionality simplifies operations to reduce costs, streamline workflows and leverage the WAN and LAN network for connected security. In addition to the cloud-managed SD-WAN solution, these features will also be in the downloadable controller software for optional on-premises deployment."

The Contrail SD-WAN cloud offering, announced earlier this year, expanded on the company’s existing on-premise (SRX-based) and virtual (NFX-based) SD-WAN offerings to include greater expansion possibilities – up to 10,000 spoke-attached sites and support for more variants of passive redundant hybrid WAN links – and topologies such as hub and spoke, partial, and dynamic full mesh, Juniper stated. 

The service brings with it Juniper’s Contrail Service Orchestration package, which secures, automates, and runs the service lifecycle across NFX Series Network Services Platforms, EX Series Ethernet Switches, SRX Series next-generation firewalls, and MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platforms. Ultimately it lets customers manage and set up SD-WANs, and now LANs, all from a single portal.

That same portal can be used to show Mist wireless access points and launch the Mist cloud for WLAN provisioning, troubleshooting, management and other day-to-day operations, including Juniper's wired/wireless assurance capabilities, Leelanivas stated. Juniper in April closed the agreement to buy wireless-gear-maker Mist for $405 million and has been incorporating the Mist technology with its own.

Mist is known for its cloud-managed, AI-based wireless service called WiFi Assurance, which measures performance and service-level metrics to make wireless networks more predictable and reliable, according to the company. Mist's cloud-based system features an AI-driven technology, called Marvis, that brings dynamic packet-capture and machine-learning technology to automatically identify, adapt and fix network issues.

Juniper recently announced Mist is expanding its cloud-based Assurance program to include wired platforms. Wired Assurance can tap into Juniper’s core network operating system, Junos, and gather telemetry data that will measure network performance for connected endpoints, including IoT devices, the company said. It also features anomaly detection to alert when there is a deviation in switch performance from baseline metrics before users know issues exist.

On the hardware side, Juniper expanded its branch switching options to include:

  • NFX350: The NFX350 family features eight 10G and eight 1G interfaces and, depending on the configuration, up to 2TB of storage, 128GB of RAM and 32 vCPUs. The fully loaded NFX350 will support up to 40Gbps of NG-firewalling and up to 8Gbps of IPSec.
  • SRX380: The SRX380 comes with several key performance features, including 1Gbps IPsec performance, four 10G ports, 16 PoE+ ports for greater wattage and density, AES256 MACsec encryption and four mini-card slots for expanded connectivity.
  • A new Wi-Fi card for branch SRX boxes that lets customers deploy Wi-Fi with zero-touch configuration alongside LTE, Ethernet and other traditional network transport options.

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