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Juniper Remakes SD-WAN Offering into Cloud Service

Juniper Networks announced its SD-WAN solution is now available in a cloud-delivered "as-a-service" offering, with the aim of simplified management of disparate resources.

The software-defined networking (SDN) specialist said its Contrail SD-WAN delivered as a cloud service adds to its previous on-premises (and virtual private cloud) capabilities.

Along with cloud scalability, other benefits of the service are said to include central management of different network systems and components, functionality associated with the SD-Branch movement. The SD-Branch approach extends SD-WAN capabilities by consolidating multiple functions that typically include routing, SD-WAN, firewall and integrated security, LAN/Wi-Fi, UTM and SaaS optimization and so on.

Juniper said new capabilities supporting secure automation throughout the service deployment lifecycle -- part of "evolving enterprise operations through the SD-Branch and AI for IT" -- include:

  • Design flexibility: Contrail now supports more variations of passive redundant hybrid WAN links, Internet breakout at the WAN edge CPE or centralized WAN hubs and topologies such as hub and spoke, partial mesh and dynamic full mesh.
  • Centrally manage branch LAN and WAN: Connecting Juniper's EX Series Ethernet switches to a single or dual WAN gateway of NFX or SRX Series devices allows customers to centrally automate the WAN and LAN policy and provisioning for secure connectivity. The EX Series switches block threats on the LAN at the port level, all based on policy deployed via Contrail.
  • Observe and manage Mist Wi-Fi: Juniper recently acquired Mist Systems, a provider of AI for IT with what it claims to be the first AI-driven wireless LAN. The Mist cloud is now connected to the Contrail management interface, providing visibility into Mist Access Points and their respective connected devices.
  • Security device management: Customers can manage next-gen firewall features of the SRX Series or NFX Series WAN edge devices, including intelligent protection from advanced threats with Juniper Sky ATP. This allows admins to configure and deploy IPsec, NAT and intent-based firewall policies. It also provides visibility into operations such as security events, logs and app-level reports (secure OAM) through Contrail.
  • ZScaler Integration: Integration of the SD-WAN path with the ZScaler SaaS firewall and unified threat management solution offers more choices for meeting customers' security needs.

The company highlighted the AI technology it acquired with the Mist buyout, pointing out immediate benefits in the new cloud offering and predicting more AI functionality to come in the future.

"Juniper's SD-WAN as a service easily connects and manages the full suite of Juniper's branch and WAN solutions, making the benefits of SDN accessible to any enterprise," said exec Manoj Leelanivas. "This is a significant step in enabling our customers' journey to AI for IT, extending the SDN transformation beyond cloud and data centers to the branch and the WAN. With this launch, combined with our recent Mist Systems acquisition, we are making industry-leading strides in our bid to make SDN and AI for IT a reality for companies of all sizes."

Pointing to the future, the company said: "The AI engine that powers the Mist portfolio will become a key part of our go-forward plans. User experience will necessarily rely on more than just a single part of the network. It's an end-to-end proposition if we are to guarantee experience for users, regardless of where they or their applications reside."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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