Juniper Networks Takes Intent Networking to the Next Level

Juniper Networks, a provider of networking products, solutions and services, has announced version 4.0 of Apstra software, the intent-based networking solution acquired by Juniper in a deal that closed in January 2021. The new software version builds on the multi-vendor capabilities of the Apstra solution to support VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC, in addition to previously supported data center switching from Juniper, NVIDIA (NVIDIA Cumulus), Arista Networks, and Cisco Systems.

Apstra 4.0 (formerly known as AOS) extends intent to connections for attached systems, ensuring standardized operations in customized ways. New connectivity templates enable operators to flexibly create their own reusable and validated templates. These facilitate operations with bulk, accurate adds across the entire fabric, including servers, workloads and devices, while checking that everything in the network is functioning properly. In addition, Apstra’s single source of truth knows the intended state of the network and informs operators when anything deviates from expectations. 

“Organizations are looking for new ways to enhance the experience of users and operators in the data center,” said Mike Bushong, vice president, data center, Juniper Networks, adding, “In operations, speed is nothing without control, and with the newest Apstra extensions and multi-vendor solutions, teams can make changes more quickly with predictable outcomes.”

With the new release, extensions integrate Apstra software with VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC. With built-in validation for virtual machine connectivity, Apstra’s NSX-T integration optimizes operation between the virtual and physical networks, and also tracks new NSX-T virtual network additions to ensure that fabric connections are set up and that operators can locate virtual machines within the fabric.

Moreover, with Apstra 4.0, Juniper says it is also the only vendor with commercial support for management of Enterprise SONiC. SONiC is a Linux-based open source network OS that can run on switches from multiple vendors and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). 

According to Juniper, the new integrations complement its existing ecosystem of technology partners and underscore the commitment to preserve Apstra as an open and multi-vendor system.

Also in the 4.0 release, turnkey building-block solutions combine intent-based networking and Juniper’s switches with options for Secure Services Gateways. The architecture lets teams deploy what is needed at the moment and grow as needed to larger deployments. In addition, new data center deployments can be up and running quickly using Zero Touch Provisioning and a set of pre-validated blueprints.

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