Juniper announces closing of 128 Technology acquisition

Benefits of Sessions

By Patrick MeLampy
March 30, 2021

Recently, I was watching a rerun of Two and a Half Men. Charlie Harper was having a therapy session with his psychiatrist. Like all sessions, the meeting had a clear start (when he walked in the room), and a clear ending (when she said “Time’s up Charlie”). This made me think of internet sessions, where there is also a client (Charlie) and a server (The Therapist). Yes, I know I need to get out more.

The value of any session, however, is not the start or the end, but rather the human experience of the session. Any session can be judged as “good,” “bad,” or “irrelevant” from an experience point of view. Often, at the end of many sessions, we are surveyed for our opinion about our experience. This is purposely done right after the session, before our feelings fade.

The experience humans have with networks is entirely contained within a network session. Zoom sessions start and end, but it’s the ability to see and hear the content that really matters. At the end of many Teams meetings, for example, a survey pops up asking me to rate the quality of the conference.

While the content is undoubtedly the most important part, not all sessions require the same middles. Windows Update runs in the background, and can take a long time, but humans never “experience” it running or how network delays may impact them. But a 3 second hiccup on Zoom is perceived as a disaster. The IP Packets all look the same to the network equipment and are often treated identically. Technology exists to prioritize packets in single networks, but these techniques all break down at edges of networks. IT personnel today must “provision” each area to perfectly mesh for each application. Due to the rapid movement of applications to clouds, and the ever changing branch networks, keeping everything working is near impossible without automated assistance.

Juniper Networks is building the first AI Driven Network that spans from the client edge of the network all the way to the server edge in a data center. Juniper Networks has a comprehensive array of networking technology, including WIFI Access Points, Ethernet Switches, Edge and Core routers, and most recently, Secure Session Routing SD-WAN. All of these products support zero touch provisioning and are provisioned with intent from the cloud. But let’s look a little deeper at how sessions are understood and differentiated.

Within branch and home networks, VLANs are often used to separate different zones and types of traffic. In data centers, often VXLANs are combined with IP Routing VRFs. In public clouds such as AWS, often we are limited to using IP Address ranges only. In WAN networks, the latest trend is to use multi-path approaches (SD-WAN) to establish an optimal network. Juniper’s goal is end-to-end provisioning of intent for each application from the cloud. This is Artificial Intelligent Driven Enterprise networking.

With the acquisition of 128 Technology’s Secure Session Router, Juniper Networks has added to its portfolio the first truly session stateful multi-path IP router. As a testament to modern cloud ready/cloud first programming, we have already successfully integrated the Secure Session Routing analytics with the Mist Cloud. We expect to continue to build on this rapidly, and have Marvis deflecting the same percentage of trouble tickets as it has in WIFI networks, which is about 80%.

The IP networking industry is at the dawn of a new revolution. Cloud-driven networks will move the needle in improving experiences, and in lowering the cost of ownership. If you haven’t taken a deep dive on the Juniper Networks Experienced-Based Networking story, you should. This is game-changing technology, and it will make the experience of being an IT professional substantively better.

Many IT professionals today feel like they need to visit Charlie’s psychiatrist for a session. They are pressured to reduce costs, have zero downtime, have zero network vulnerabilities, have no network attacks, while still being 100% supportive of rapid changes and new applications. On top of that, it all must be accomplished with little organizational respect. Charlie’s psychiatrist would likely say that unless we change course, we will likely repeat the same mistakes over and over again. The Juniper AI-Driven Enterprise (AIDE) may be the answer. I fell in love with it instantly. Maybe you will too!