Organizations today are digitally transforming their IT environments to become more agile and responsive to market and customer demands. While this typically includes people, process, and technology, the technology piece underpins many of the new processes and ensures your employees can collaborate and be productive.
However, many of these business requirements are demanding, which creates more complexity and makes it difficult for ops teams to build out, keep track of, and ensure optimal performance over time. Every system is designed to be optimized—or at least believed to have been on Day 1—but what about Day 2 and beyond? With all the changes and movements with modern application environments and rapidly growing network traffic across data centers, network teams need solutions to help them operate more efficiently. In fact, operational efficiency was the top goal reported for digital transformation efforts in ESG’s 2021 Technology Spending Intentions survey.
It’s clear that enterprises, service providers, and cloud operators need a simpler, less time-consuming, and resource-efficient way to deploy and manage their mission critical data center networks. As a result, organizations are becoming increasingly focused on modernizing their data center network environments by leveraging software-defined and intent-based network solutions.
Juniper Networks believes it can increase operational efficiencies for these organizations with the introduction of the recently announced Apstra 4.0 (previously AOS).
In case you have not been keeping track, Juniper has been on a buying spree, acquiring key technologies to help address all these business challenges (Mist, NetRounds, 128T, Apstra). Apstra, acquired on January 27, now has the resources to scale and is continuing to drive innovation with its latest release. Apstra 4.0 is an intent-based networking solution that leverages closed-loop automation and analytics to enable organizations to streamline data center network deployment and Day 2 operations and is built on an open, multi-vendor architecture. The big news for this release is that Apstra 4.0 extends its support for heterogeneous solutions by adding VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC distribution by Dell Technologies. This is important, as it sends a clear signal that Juniper is committed to keeping Apstra an open, multi-vendor solution.
Open Extensions, Connectivity, and Building Blocks
The notable features from Apstra 4.0 include:
- Support for VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC distribution by Dell Technologies.
- New extensions with built-in validation for virtual machine connectivity. Fabric connections are set up, allowing operators to locate virtual machines within the fabric.
- Continued support for data center switching from Juniper, Nvidia, (Nvidia Cumulus), Arista Networks, and Cisco.
- A simple way to connect attached systems. Apstra 4.0’s new intent extensions and connectivity templates allow operators to custom build reusable and validated templates, saving time and resources.
- Juniper’s turnkey building block solutions, comprising intent-based networking and Juniper’s switches, and options for Secure Services Gateways to help organizations meet the changing needs of data centers.
- The ability to support small- and mid-sized organizations to utilize modern, automated data center operations. Organizations can start with as few as four switch deployments and scale into larger ones.
- Accelerate data center networking deployments with zero touch provisioning and pre-validated blueprints.