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Juniper Mist automatically validates AP placement

Juniper has added three features to its AIOps networking assistant to improve troubleshooting and give more insights into the network. The company also introduced midrange switching hardware.

Juniper Networks has added automatic access point placement and orientation validation to Mist AI to address the challenge of attaining optimal Wi-Fi coverage. 

The company announced the feature this week, along with new midrange switching hardware and updates to Marvis to improve troubleshooting.

Juniper's Mist AI Wireless Assurance can already ingest floor plans from third-party tools. The update automatically checks actual AP placement and orientation against these plans and highlights misplaced APs. The service comes standard with Wireless Assurance and works with Juniper Wi-Fi 6 and 6E Mist APs.

Validating AP placement automatically and immediately minimizes deployment costs by eliminating unnecessary wireless site surveys, said Jeff Aaron, Juniper's vice president of enterprise marketing. The feature also makes conducting those site surveys easier for vendors.

"Installers were complaining about [validating AP placement] forever, so this addressed a new persona," Aaron said.

Juniper added three features to Marvis, the company's AIOps networking assistant, to give more insights into the network and improve the troubleshooting workflow.

Marvis Windows Client allows users to check potential sources of trouble, like whether drivers are compatible and the correct OS is in use. The capability supplements the existing Marvis Android Client that provides insight into network issues like coverage area.

When a network's Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) fails to administer IP addresses, Juniper Mist Wired Assurance will use Marvis to search for server, VLAN or client failures.

Wired Assurance is also gaining authentication capabilities. Marvis will identify wired devices failing to authenticate due to client-side problems and issue troubleshooting recommendations.

The Marvis updates represent the incremental evolution of Juniper's AIOps capabilities, which will continue later this year with AI-driven network access control, Aaron said.

Like other networking vendors, Juniper has focused on AIOps to differentiate itself through ease of management. Marvis and Mist are Juniper's competitive advantages, said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research.

 "When we look back at the Mist acquisition years from now, we're going to look at that as the best acquisition in the company's history," Kerravala said. "They went from a high-performance, enterprise specialist to somebody that can address the needs across all kinds of companies."

The company also announced the latest addition to its EX Switching portfolio, the EX4100. The EX4100, intended for campus and branch environments, offers cloud-based operations and built-in AIOps at a lower price than the EX4300 or EX4400. The new switch fills a gap in Juniper's midrange switching portfolio.

The EX4100 will be available in the second half of this year.

Madelaine Millar is a news writer covering network technology at TechTarget. She has previously written about science and technology for MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences, as well as covering community news for Boston Globe Media.

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