Juniper Ups Automation Game With New Portfolio For 5G, Multi-cloud Environments

The networking giant says its brand-new portfolio will help simplify and automate increasingly-complex network operations for enterprises.


Juniper Networks is combining some of its homegrown and recently-acquired technologies into a new set of software applications aimed at simplifying increasingly-complex network operations.

The Juniper Paragon Automation portfolio, introduced on Friday, will inject automation into multi-cloud, and soon, 5G environments, said Julius Francis, senior director of product marketing for Juniper.

Businesses and end customers will benefit from a new operational approach to networking that prioritizes user experience, while easing network management for operators, especially as technologies like 5G will start to open up new bandwidth in the enterprise and services are popping up at the edge, Francis said.

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“If you look at the emerging services, network operators cannot just delivery connectivity anymore. They have to deliver the end user experience -- that is critical for monetizing the new landscape,” he said.

[Related: CRN Juniper Networks CEO: 'The Goal Now Is A Self-Driving Network']

Juniper Paragon Automation is a modular portfolio of cloud-native, microservices-based applications that can work independently or integrate with existing tools, according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

Solutions include Paragon Insights, previously known as Healthbot, Juniper‘s device-level diagnostics and network analytics tool; Paragon Pathfinder, formerly known as NorthStar, Juniper’s SDN controller which can simplify path, slice creation, and optimize and assure transport services; and Paragon Planner, formerly Juniper’s modeling tool, NorthStar Planner.

Also included in the portfolio are new solutions gained from juniper‘s recent acquisitions and partnerships. Paragon Active Assurance is based on programmable test and service assurance technology from Netrounds, which Juniper bought in late 2020. Anuta ATOM is a multi-vendor configuration, compliance management, and closed-loop automation solution that joins the portfolio through Juniper’s close partnership with Anuta Networks.

“Working, learning, and gaming -- it all depends on the network, and the complexity is only going up,” Francis said. “We need to look at the experience of network professionals and how they operate their networks, and the experience of the end users.”

Juniper has been in the business of managing and operating large networks for years, and the new portfolio was built on the vendor‘s experience deploying SDN and tackling newer networking challenges, like multi-cloud environments, IoT, and 5G, Francis said.

“A lot of businesses are in the cross point where they can’t operate their networks in the same way, but they are thinking about how to change and be a deliverer of experiences -- that’s how they think they can differentiate,” he said.

The cloud-native pieces of the Juniper Paragon Automation portfolio can be deployed to enterprises’ private cloud environments or public cloud. Business can pick and choose tools from the portfolio to fill gaps within their existing IT environments, Francis said.

Juniper partners will be essential in bringing the value of the new portfolio. Solution providers are facing the same issues as enterprises in that they have to transform, he said. “Paragon Automation will take [partners] in the right direction to have important conversations with their customers,” he said. “And having technologies that can actively assure them that their customers are happy is critical, too.”

Juniper in November pledged to simplify its approach to partner programming during the Juniper Partner Summit. In December, Juniper channel chief Gordon Mackintosh told CRN that the company would be rolling out a revamped Juniper Partner Advantage program (JPA) targeting enterprise sales opportunities and is pumping $100 million into its indirect sales efforts.