Juniper Networks has launched a new EX4100 switch series that can automatically validate access point (AP) placement for enterprises' wireless local area networks (WLANs).
The networking company said the new switches utilize a microservices cloud and integrate with the Mist AI platform for improved performance and security in enterprise access layer switching environments.
The EX4100 switches also integrate with the Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance service to automatically determine where there are gaps in coverage in enterprises' WLAN deployments, said Christian Gilby, senior director of product marketing for Juniper.
In office buildings, APs are sometimes accidentally installed in the wrong location. Historically, this meant customers would have to perform a post-install survey to verify the correct placement of APs. But this process is manual, time-consuming and expensive, said Gilby.
Juniper Mist can access floor plans from tools such as Ekahau and iBwave, and now automatically validates AP placements after installation and provides an alert about any misplaced APs via the Mist dashboard.
"We can automatically triangulate where the AP really got placed on the map, so that we can figure out if there are any coverage holes," said Gilby.
By integrating with the EX4100 series, Mist AI can access data from the switches to identify network issues. This is particularly helpful with monitoring performance from IoT devices on enterprise networks and fixing any problems that arise, said Gilby.
For example, "a robot distribution center is not going to call the helpdesk when it has an issue, right? It's just going to stop," he explained. "So, that's where AI is big, as we look at proactively finding and resolving those issues."
Marvis, the virtual network assistant that integrates with Mist AI, can automatically fix some network problems, such as configuration issues on a switch. For complex problems like an issue with a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, Marvis will alert the IT team on the dashboard or via text, explained Gilby.
"AIOps and cloud-hosted operations continue to be the biggest benefits to IT departments in the campus and branch," said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst for ZK Research, in a statement.
With the latest update, Marvis is now also available in a Marvis Windows Client, which is installed on Windows OS devices. This comes in addition to the previously released Android Marvis Client.
The Juniper Mist Wired Assurance service has also been updated to identify and fix the source of DHCP failures (i.e., server, VLAN or client). It provides wired authentication actions to identify devices and users who are failing to authenticate continuously on wired devices due to client-side issues. Repeated authentication issues could be the result of a user trying the wrong password, a device being misconfigured, a driver issue or someone trying to break into a device, explained Gilby.
Juniper said the new switches also provide IT teams with the ability to design an EVPN-VXLAN network across distribution and access layers. The switches provide security features such as MACsec AES256, and some versions of the EX4100 support Power over Ethernet++ (802.3bt) for customers planning to transition to Wi-Fi 6E technology.
The launch of the EX4100 series comes at a time when Juniper's enterprise segment is on the upswing. The company reported that its enterprise segment increased 18.5% in Q1. During an earnings call with analysts, CEO Rami Rahim said this is the first time Juniper's enterprise business has been the company's largest customer vertical.
"Cloud and enterprise strength more than offset a modest decline in our service provider vertical, which was due entirely to the timing of shipments as a result of supply chain challenges," said Rahim.
- Juniper's service provider segment and stock hit a speed bump
- Juniper CEO: The new networking – experience, speed and scale
- Juniper jumps into zero-trust NAC market with WiteSand acquisition
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading