Last year Juniper Networks, a leader in secure AI-driven networks, announced an agreement to acquire Apstra, a leader in intent-based networking and automated closed-loop assurance. With this acquisition, Juniper raises the bar of data centre network automation changing the way of design, deployment and operation in the data centre by using AI-driven automation. The deal will enhance Juniper’s data centre portfolio by uniting Apstra’s automation with Juniper programmable hardware and EVPN-VXLAN/IP fabric solutions for a wide range of environments.
Apstra: Simplify, automate and transform your data centre network
Data centre network infrastructure has become too complex to manage and is often a roadblock to business success. Apstra was founded to simplify and automate data centre network management and pioneered intent-based networking to achieve it.
“Intent-based networking must make network infrastructure simple, agile, and reliable in the presence of constant change - not only change in business rules but also change in network operating state.”- Sasha Ratkovic, Founder and CTO of Apstra
Closed-loop of automation
Apstra has built a platform ideal for deploying and managing data centre fabrics and deployments, simplifying IT infrastructure is the number one strategic priority, for businesses today. Apstra automates the data centre network: Day 0 (design phase), day 1 (build and deploy phase), and day 2+ (assurance).
“By 2023, 60% of data centre networking configuration activities will be automated, up from 30% in early 2020.” According to the Gartner Market Guide for Network Automation and Orchestration Tools, Apstra's intent-based network will simplify the IT effort and automate the fabric and infrastructure management.
According to Apstra's closed-loop of automation day 0/day 1/day 2 operations (design, build, deploy and assure), it can deliver systematic and repeatable operations vendor-agnostic IP fabrics, EVPN-VXLAN fabric capabilities and sonic fabric management for the datacentre.
“A full IBNS implementation will reduce the time to deliver network infrastructure services to business leaders by 50% to 90%,” according to the Gartner top 10 technologies that will drive the future of infrastructure and operations report.
Apstra Operating System (AOS) offering
- Vendor-agnostic multi-DCI/fabrics, multiple pods, racks, servers
- Customisable dashboards, intent-based probes intent-driven fabric operations with a topology view
- Visualisation of fabric traffic heatmaps and headroom planning
- EVPN-VXLAN, IP fabrics and DCI infrastructure management.
- Network ZTP and device upgrade/maintenance mode
- Root-cause troubleshooting
- Configlets, connectivity templates and policies config with rollback
Apstra is now called Juniper Apstra Fabric Conductor
Before the Apstra acquisition, Juniper Networks positioned its contrail enterprise multi-cloud software-defined networking technology as the foundation for its IBN strategy in the data centre. Juniper shifts the positioning of contrail enterprise multicoloured to its focus in the SDN overlay to orchestrate workload policy.
Juniper plans to continue supporting Apstra’s existing multivendor capabilities functionality for Arista, Cisco and NVIDIA switching. Juniper believes that the future of networking is open and interoperable. interoperability supported by Apstra can assist in migrations, easing customer transitions. Many QFX platforms are already supported, EX4300 is also currently supported. Support for EX and MX platforms is being assessed.
Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks:
“Juniper’s Data Center portfolio is consistently recognised by both analysts and customers as industry-leading, with top marks for performance, scale, security and simplified operations through automation. Adding Apstra’s intent-based networking and automated closed-loop assurance advances our vision to transform data centre operations. With the combination of Juniper and Apstra, customers get the best infrastructure and fabric management with integrated design, deployment and automated root cause identification and remediation to satisfy any Data Center environment. This is networking for the modern cloud era.”
David Cheriton, CEO and Co-Founder of Apstra:
“We founded Apstra to automate the data centre as a holistic system from its initial design to all aspects of its operation and maintenance. Our automation allows valuable network engineers to focus on strategic issues and avoid spending time on network configuration and troubleshooting, particularly with the attendant risk of human error. Joining Apstra with Juniper's strong reputation in networking and its commitment to open networking removes the long-standing trade-off between manageability and vendor lock-in and advances the industry toward the true self-driving network.”