Wednesday, 24 November 2021 23:32

iTWireTV Interview: Juniper's Mist is a bona-fide hit for AI-enabled wired and Wi-Fi connectivity


GUEST INTERVIEW: Juniper's quest to uncover exceptionally advanced, AI-powered wired and Wi-Fi connectivity is reaping rich rewards for enterprises, universities and organisations, with Dartmouth College an excellent example, as Juniper is set to speak at QUESTnet 2021 at QUT, Nov 29 to Dec 1.

Juniper. Founded in 1996, the company today says it "strives to deliver network experiences that transform how people connect, work and live."

And, by challenging the inherent complexity in the Cloud + 5G + AI era, Juniper explains its solutions "power the connections that matter most - from education to healthcare to secure banking," with a "commitment to advance real outcomes for network teams and every individual they serve."

A couple of years ago, Juniper upgraded itself with the acquisition of Mist AI, which "uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science techniques to optimise user experiences and simplify operations across the wireless access, wired access, and SD-WAN domains."

With data ingested from numerous sources, including Juniper Mist Access Points, Switches, and Firewalls for end-to-end insight into user experiences, Juniper explains these "work in concert with Mist AI to optimise user experiences from client-to-cloud, including automated event correlation, root cause identification, 'Self-Driving Network' operations, network assurance, proactive anomaly detection, and more."

Juniper also leverages Mist AI for next-generation customer support, and is "the foundational element behind Marvis, the industry’s first AI-driven Virtual Network Assistant, which provides extensive insight and guidance to IT staff via a natural language conversational interface."

As you'd expect, Juniper explains Mist AI saves operators "time and money with faster problem resolution and fewer onsite visits", while "users benefit from a network infrastructure that is more predictable, reliable, and measurable."

So, with Dartmouth College in New Hampshire just one of the organisations to have its wired and wireless networks dramatically upgraded by Mist AI technology, what is more background on how it all works, where else it is used, and what else Mist AI delivers that are genuine, data driven and AI-enhanced improvements over yesterday's wired and wireless networks.

And what is Juniper's involvement with QUESTNet 2021, which is being held at QUT in Brisbane, from November 29 to December 1?

We spoke to Stephen Cooper, the Technical Lead of Juniper's AI-driven Enterprise to learn more, in what is a fascinating tour-de-force of just how advanced and user-friendly today's networking technologies are for organisations of all sizes.

The video interview is immediately below, after which is a summary of the topics we spoke about, so please read on!

I started by introduced Stephen, welcoming him to the program, and asking him to recap Juniper's history, and its products and services offering to the global marketplace today, just a few weeks from 2022.

We then moved straight to Mist AI, where I noted the dictionary definition of the word mist is "a cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere", which sounded very appropriate for AI-driven network connectivity.

So, I asked Stephen what Mist AI is and does, and where it is being used, including the upgrade of Dartmouth College's network, which was clearly upgraded from a previous older Wi-Fi network infrastructure, to a vastly new modernised one.

Stephen had some great explanations of how the network was upgraded, and the numerous benefits this entailed, including the ability to determine if there was even a piece of wiring in the wall that had issues, through to the enablement of Bluetooth beacons and other location services.

Next we discussed Juniper's acquisition of Mist, and the advanced technological ecosystem that Mist was now able to operate in at an even more advanced level than it was able to access before the acquisition.

Stephen then explained Juniper's level of sponsorship with QUESTnet 2021, and what Stephen would be speaking about in his keynote session.

After this came more information on other Juniper customers Stephen wanted to highlight, lessons from the pandemic that were worth sharing, and anything else we needed to know about that I hadn't already brought up.

Stephen then shared memories of his first computer, a brief look into his own history in the world of tech, his thoughts on Juniper's and the industry's journey over the next few years.

This was followed up with Stephen sharing the best advice he has ever received to help him get where he is today, and his final message to iTWire viewers and readers, and to Juniper's current and future customers and partners.

So, please watch the video interview above to learn more about the hit that is Mist, and the QUESTnet journey of educational excellence!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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