Juniper Launches 'Bots' for Self-Driving Networks

Mitch Wagner
12/7/2017
50%
50%

Juniper is advancing its vision of "self-driving networks" with a trio of applications that it calls "bots" that automate basic network management, the company announced Thursday.

"The bots are software applications that automate a series of networking tasks. You specify the intent of what you want to do, and the bot figures out how to do it," Donyel Jones-Williams, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) director of service provider portfolio marketing, tells Enterprise Cloud News.

The AppFormix HealthBot is a real-time "Fitbit for the network," taking in telemetry and providing insights that network operators can use for troubleshooting, maintenance and realtime analytics to manage the network and keep it running, Juniper says. The HealthBot uses machine learning to provide better decisions over time.

The Contrail TestBot automates auditing and testing for designing and provisioning network changes. And the Contrail PeerBot monitors peering between Internet service provider networks, managing multiple Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing to simplify policy enforcement and on-demand scaling. The bots are now in beta and will be available in the first half of 2018.

Photo by LPS.1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by LPS.1 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Keep up with the latest enterprise cloud news and insights. Sign up for the weekly Enterprise Cloud News newsletter.


Additionally, the company enhanced the Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET), a management and control API framework, by extending it to the data plane, enabling developers to create applications with direct data plane access on the Juniper vMX and MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers. The extensions give developers access to advanced network programmability with JunosOS, for fine network control.

"For sophisticated customers who want to manipulate the actual packets going through the MX, we are giving them APIs down to that level of the machine," Jones-Williams says. "This is another element of our whole vision of self-driving networks." (See Juniper's AppFormix Aims to Automate via Intent-Based Networking.)

Juniper's automation approach applies the principles of cloud providers -- a significant part of Juniper's customer base -- to enterprise and service provider networks, Jones-Williams says. "Good engineering practice is to make things simple," he says.

As enterprises and service providers move to the cloud, they need to have better insights into their traffic. Bots make it more intuitive and simpler to make that transition, simplifying network operators' lives in the same way the cloud has done for IT, Jones-Williams says.

Juniper has been promoting the idea of "self-driving networks" for at least a year, along with intent-based networking. The two concepts are essentially the same. Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner defined intent-based networking in a February blog post: "The system takes a higher-level business policy (what) as input from end users and converts it to the necessary network configuration (how)," he said.

Lerner identified Apstra, Forward Networks, Waltz and Veriflow as vendors with strategies based on intent-based networking. (See Apstra Automates Legacy App Networks and Forward Launches Freemium Service for Network Visibility.)

And Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) made a big splash when it announced its "network intuitive" strategy in June, based on intent-based networking. (See Cisco's 'Network Intuitive': A Risky Transition.)

Related posts:

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/27/2017 | 12:39:30 AM
Re: Networks
You're right, the more complex the network becomes, the more automation is necessary to track it. The trick is developing the automation right in the first place, otherwise all it only brings you the wrong answers at a faster speed.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/9/2017 | 3:57:35 PM
Networks
Fitbit for networks is needed, that's for sure!

I think this is a great idea. Networking is software-based and way more complex than ever before. More tools like this are needed. 
More Blogs from Wagner’s Ring
Equinix is initially testing virtual router and firewall in the US and Europe, with plans to extend into Asia soon, to help make network connections more agile and responsive for enterprise customers.
While networks alone won't deliver enterprise transformation, robust, software-defined networks are needed for enterprises to transform, says Sorabh Saxena, president, business operations for AT&T business solutions.
Telefónica turned to Juniper and Nokia to meet exploding demand in Spain. Upgrade raises network capacity to 10 Tbit/s, with room to grow.
Apple haters have been sounding the alarm for a decade, but this time the bad news is real.
Superior technology isn't enough.
Featured Video
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
April 8, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 6, 2019, Denver, Colorado
May 6-8, 2019, Denver, Colorado
September 17-19, 2019, Dallas, Texas
October 1, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 2-22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
All Upcoming Live Events
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Huawei Shows 5G in Action at MWC
By Ken Wieland, for Huawei
Huawei Heats Up Microwave for 5G Backhaul
By Ken Wieland, for Huawei
Huawei Services Bring the Best 5G Into Reality
By Steven Wu, President of Consulting & Service Solution Sales Dept., Carrier BG, Huawei
All Partner Perspectives