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Juniper: Network Automation Needs a Push

October 18, 2018

Juniper Networks is getting impatient. It’s tired of waiting. And it wants to get things rolling with network automation.

It says the industry has been working on this issue for nearly two decades. Yet most network management today is still done using command line interface and manual processes, Juniper Networks says.

To move things forward, the company this month launched online labs, libraries, tools, training and certifications, and opportunities for collaboration.

Cloud Customer Certification Labs is part of what’s new. Living in the Juniper cloud, it allows network engineers to do testing and staging in a virtual lab environment. That environment includes network automation tools like Juniper’s Network Implementation and Test Automation solution, networking systems, and traffic generators.

The company also has introduced NRE Labs. Here engineers and network operators can learn about network automation and how it works in real-life scenarios. That includes efforts related to configuration, troubleshooting, and verification. Juniper says NRE Labs, which was built as an open source project, was inspired by the site reliability engineering movement. 

Additionally the company has come out with Juniper EngNet. This brings together in a single site access to various Juniper Labs, API documentation, automation tools, resources, and social communities.

Juniper is promoting its services, certification, and training related to automation as well. That includes Juniper Testing-as-a-Service, which uses the new Cloud CCL to replicate customer network topologies, configurations, and traffic flows. On the education side, the company offers Juniper Automation and DevOps training courses at beginner and intermediate levels.

For years, the industry has relied on incumbent network vendors to guide them toward a more automated future,” said Michael Bushong, Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing at Juniper Networks, which is a major supplier itself. “At some point, we have to realize that this isn’t working. ... It’s time for a new crop of companies to step in, providing more than just products. If we are to move forward, we need leadership in both technology and practice. Today, Juniper Networks is taking an important step forward for Juniper and all the network operations teams for whom continued inaction represents an existential threat.”

Speaking of AI, networking, and existential threats, Juniper’s Nick Bilogorskiy will be speaking at a new artificial intelligence- and automation-focused event early next year called The Adaptive & Intent-Based Networking Expo. He will present Jan. 30 in Fort Lauderdale about “Combatting Complexity and Cybercrime with Behavioral Analytics.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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