Juniper Networks has developed a new way to build cloud networks, capable of deploying services faster and using a ‘smart’ system that means the network can protect itself. The approach, called Cloud-Grade Networking, merges telemetry, automation and machine learning capabilities.

Challenges exist across the IT industry when it comes to networking. Traffic is growing exponentially, while the storage, networking and compute layers are becoming more complex. Companies are also under pressure to find cost-effective and simple ways to keep up with demand for new applications and services. These factors will prove unsustainable, Juniper says, if allowed to go unchecked.

Cloud-Grade Networking consists of four tenets: a platform-first approach; disaggregation; a Self-Driving Network™; and pervasive software-defined security.

Part of the platform-first approach (an acknowledgment that the network is not the end goal, just an enabler) is a new service model called Junos Node Slicing. Operators can use this to run multiple services or instances on the same routing infrastructure, each with a separate administrative domain.  The ‘cloud-grade’ Universal Chassis disaggregates the network, which Juniper says helps operators in standardising routing and switching deployments.

In an effort to move further towards its vision for the Self-Driving Network (which is very similar to Cisco’s ‘intent-based’ network), Juniper is introducing two new Professional Services engagements: one with continuous network infrastructure integration (to automate design, test and deployment and audit network environments); and another that moves network automation to being driven by event, not people.

Keiichi Makizono of Japan’s Softbank Corp. said, “As SoftBank continues to focus on utilising AI, [the] Self-Driving Network concept allows us to take advantage of the company’s high-scale automation products and its concept to predict operational needs and improve our overall responsiveness and agility.”

All of Juniper’s latest developments are available now.