Juniper Apstra 4.0: The Intent-Based Networking for Everyday Data Center Automation

Streamlined connectivity & integrations with VMware NSX-T & SONiC help customers to automate & assure the operations of IT, cloud & telco data centers

Juniper Networks announced version 4.0 of Apstra software, the intent-based networking solution acquired earlier in the year. Juniper Apstra helps organizations to minimize the time and costs associated with deploying and managing traditionally complex data center networks. The new software version builds on the unique multivendor capabilities of the Apstra solution to support VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC, in addition to previously supported data center switching from Juniper, Nvidia (Nvidia Cumulus), Arista Networks and Cisco Systems. The Apstra software also has new intent extensions and connectivity templates that provide a more simple and flexible way of connecting attached systems. Additionally, Juniper is offering Apstra with award-winning Juniper Networks QFX Series switches and SRX Series Services Gateways in proven drop-in “building block” solutions that can seamlessly grow with evolving data center needs.

“Organizations are looking for new ways to enhance the experience of users and operators in the data center,” said Mike Bushong, VP Data Center, Juniper Networks. “Our Apstra software provides the perfect foundation by delivering closed-loop automation, analytics and assurance for intent-based networking across vendors. In operations, speed is nothing without control, and with the newest Apstra extensions and multi-vendor solutions, teams can make changes more quickly with predictable outcomes.”

Apstra Open Extensions and Connectivity Templates

Apstra 4.0 (formerly known as AOS) takes intent-based networking to the next level by extending intent to connections for attached systems. It’s a method of essentially ensuring standardized operations in customized ways. New connectivity templates enable operators to flexibly create their own reusable and validated templates. These facilitate operations with bulk, accurate adds across the entire fabric in minutes, including servers, workloads and devices, while checking that everything in the network is functioning properly. Apstra’s single source of truth knows the intended state of the network and informs operators when anything deviates from expectations. 

Additionally, new extensions integrate Apstra software with VMware NSX-T 3.0 and Enterprise SONiC, enabling even more organizations to benefit from Apstra’s reliability and time-savings value. With built-in validation for virtual machine connectivity, Apstra’s NSX-T integration assures and optimizes operation between the virtual and physical networks. Apstra tracks new NSX-T virtual network additions to assure fabric connections are also set up and allows operators to locate virtual machines within the fabric. Furthermore, with Apstra 4.0, Juniper is now the only vendor with commercialsupport for management of Enterprise SONiC. With this new release, Juniper customers have additional options for building cloud-level, large-scale data centers with open networking. 

These new integrations complement Juniper’s existing ecosystem of technology partners andunderscore the commitment to preserve Apstra as an open and multi-vendor system. Customers can scale with the Apstra software, removing hardware and operational constraints and accelerating data center evolution.

Building Block Solutions  

The Apstra 4.0 release focuses on operations across vendors. Additionally, Juniper is making it easier for organizations to build and modernize data centers with Juniper solutions. New turnkey building block solutions combine intent-based networking and Juniper’s industry-leading switches with options for Secure Services Gateways. The scalable, optimized architecture lets teams confidently deploy what’s needed now, as small as a 4-switch deployment, and grow as needed to larger deployments. New data center deployments can be up and running in hours rather than days, using Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and a set of pre-validated blueprints. With these building blocks, small and mid-sized organizations can adopt the most modern and automated data center operations without expansive design projects, lengthy deployment programs and/or extensive in-house data center expertise.

The Data Center Leader

Juniper has been a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center and Cloud Networking for the past three years. Juniper’s marquee customers include Aston Martin, T-Systems and Zoom. In Q1 2021, Juniper grew its enterprise revenue for a third consecutive quarter, with enterprise orders rising more than 20% Y/Y. Cloud ready data center orders grew nearly 30% Y/Y, as customers continue to recognize the value of Juniper’s cloud ready data center solutions and the differentiation enabled by Apstra.

The Apstra acquisition closed in January 2021.

Supporting quotes:

We are excited to move forward with Juniper Apstra with the intent that its detailed visibility and troubleshooting abilities in our data center will allow us to find root-cause analysis faster than our current solution. We plan to use customized dashboards to bring visibility to other REI business units regarding the health of the data center.”

Don Ely, Lead Network Security Engineer, REI

Intent-based automation and analytics across a variety of network operating stacks, such as Enterprise SONiC, is a key enabler of an open ecosystem. We welcome Juniper’s new Apstra 4.0 offering as it utilizes the advanced capabilities available in Broadcom merchant silicon. By delivering a solution ready for general data center deployments, this combination represents a milestone in spurring SONiC adoption.”

Hasan Siraj, Head of Software Products and Ecosystem, Core Switching Group, Broadcom 

Additional Resources:

  • Launch Blog: Juniper Apstra 4.0: The Next Level of Open, Intent-Based Networking for Everyday Data Center Automation
  • Product & Solution Pages: Apstra Solution