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Juniper Virtual Network Assistant Bulks Up in AI Push

The vendor announced several updates to its Marvis virtual network assistant (VNA), which gives proactive insights to network managers.

James Anderson

January 29, 2024

3 Min Read
Virtual Network Assistant
Rahimova/Shutterstock

Juniper Networks has unveiled portfolio upgrades that it said will give users more comprehensives insights into their networks.

The vendor said networking platform updates, including an enhanced Marvis Virtual Network Assistant (VNA), give businesses a unified AI engine for their campus, branch and data center environments. The company claims it has made the "first AI-native networking platform."

Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said the company's platform enables AI for IT operations (AIOps) to stretch from end user to applications to reduce downtime and trouble tickets.

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“AI is the biggest technology inflection point since the internet itself, and its ongoing impact on networking cannot be understated. At Juniper, we have seen firsthand how our game-changing AIOps has saved thousands of global enterprises significant time and money while delighting the end user with a superior experience," Rahim said.

The networking industry is battling for market share in providing computing power for AI-based solutions. HPE, Juniper's pending buyer, rolled out AI-focused platform updates alongside an enhanced partnership with Nvidia.

Virtual Network Assistant

The Marvis VNA is getting an update sometime in the first quarter with "Minis." Juniper calls these digital experience twins that simulate different network scenarios and input data into the Mist AI engine for its machine learning.

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Businesses can automatically apply the Marvis Minis, which conduct monitoring and testing through "external sensors, clients and applications" that directly connect to the network. Juniper suggests that the Minis ideally would go to work during a time of low network usage or after a significant change to network.

Moreover, Juniper will make a data center-focused Marvis VNA offering available in the second quarter, the company said.

The AI Data Center offering has expanded in three key areas. Its Apstra DC fabric solution can now process AI and machine learning traffic over Ethernet. Juniper has also made new PTX routers and line cards available for order, as well as a new QFX switch.

Enterprise Strategy Group principal analyst Bob Laliberte said the platform helps IT departments grow more proactive in troubleshooting and management.

"The combination of proven AIOps and the addition of synthetic testing enables highly available and optimized network environments. Juniper is extending its AI capabilities to the data center by coupling Marvis VNA with Apstra so it can provide end-to-end context and simplified use leveraging conversational AI interfaces," Lalibert said. " Additionally, Juniper’s AI-native solutions and switches can be applied to power back end GenAI network infrastructure. Organizations can take advantage of Juniper’s Validated Solutions to accelerate adoption and time to value of these GenAI environments.”

Related:Poll: Partners Like HPE's Juniper Acquisition, but Cisco to Stay Dominant

Sajeev Nair, ServiceNow senior director of design and build engineering, said Juniper has cut down the time ServiceNow spends on network troubleshooting.

"With its AI-powered insights from Marvis and automation, we've seen a 90% reduction in wireless-related issues reported by employees and a significant reduction to our mean time to resolution of issues, freeing up our team to focus on more strategic initiatives. Now, with Marvis Minis, we will be able to proactively find and resolve issues before they impact our user experience. Another amazing benefit is that Marvis Minis is fully integrated into our existing Marvis VNA subscription; there's no need for additional hardware or software. It's a game-changer for our network operations," Nair said.

HPE announced at the beginning of January that it was buying Juniper for $14 billion.

About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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