With its new WAN Assurance service, Mist is extending its product portfolio on the way to the transparent network. Now the quality of the entire network can be monitored using the Service Level Expectations (SLE): from the WAN edge to the cloud applications. This brings Mist and Juniper even closer together.
A subscription to WAN Assurance Cloud Services and a Juniper SRX 300 series WAN Gateway is required to use the service. This means that, in addition to routing, switching, VPN, Next-Generation firewall and threat protection functions, SRX WAN Gateways now also offer the option of incorporating quality monitoring from Mist. As for Wired Assurance, using other Mist products such as Access Points or Assurance services isn’t necessary: the WAN Assurance Service can also be used separately.
What can Mist WAN Assurance do?
The Service Level Expectations are at the heart of the WAN Assurance Service. These provide information about the user experience during operation. This is also where it differs from conventional monitoring via SD-WAN, for example with the Juniper Contrail Service Orchestration. This aids setup and monitors the health of the WAN connection, as well as the implementation of guidelines. This monitoring is of course essential for a functioning WAN network, and also important for WAN Assurance; but Mist goes beyond purely physical network monitoring. Mist uses artificial intelligence to evaluate what this data says about the user experience.
This primarily means two things for administrators. Firstly, potential system problems can be detected proactively and – depending on the problem – solved autonomously by the AI. Secondly, in the event that complaints do arise, problems can be traced based on users and applications.
A combination of Mist Services for simple network monitoring
WAN Assurance on its own might make life easier, but the true power of Mist’s solution only comes into force with a combination of WiFi, Wired and WAN Assurance services, and the Virtual Network Assistant Marvis. We’ve already presented these services in detail in our blog article Support for your network – Mist Cloud Services.
With its WAN Assurance service, Mist now offers a complete overview of all the network connections a business might have. Getting to the root of problems is child’s play with help from the Marvis Conversational Interface, which enables questions to be posed in natural language.
Although each of the services handles a portion of the network monitoring, the data is pooled for common evaluation. This means you no longer need to hunt for errors in three different locations – WLAN, LAN or WAN. This is another advantage of Mist Assurance.
Thanks to permanent network monitoring, having to reproduce faults in the first place is also no longer necessary. Because all the network data is stored for up to 30 days, you can also analyse it after the event. In the Mist Dashboard, for example, you can perform searches based on the client, the application, or the period in which the fault occurred.
Which parameters does Mist WAN Assurance monitor?
But let’s get back to WAN Assurance. How does Mist monitor the user experience? Three metrics are measured for the WAN Service Level Expectations: Gateway Health, WAN Link Health and App Experience. Here, the administrator can see at a glance whether the problem is to do with the SRX Gateway, the line, or the connection. However, since each of these metrics are not sufficient to provide a diagnosis individually, the actual fault analysis of the metrics is broken down into further components.
Durch die dauerhafte Netzwerküberwachung müssen Fehler auch nicht erst reproduziert werden. Da alle Netzwerkdaten bis zu 30 Tage gespeichert werden, können diese auch im Nachhinein analysiert werden. Im Mist Dashboard kann beispielweise nach dem Client oder der Applikation sowie dem Fehlerzeitraum gesucht werden.
Welche Parameter überwacht Mist WAN Assurance?
Doch zurück zur WAN Assurance. Wie geht Mist vor, um das Nutzererlebnis zu überwachen? Für die WAN Service Level Expectations werden drei Metriken gemessen: Gateway Health, WAN Link Health und App Experience. Hier kann der Administrator auf einen Blick sehen, ob es sich eher um ein Problem des SRX Gateways, der Leitung oder Verbindung handelt. Da jede dieser Metriken für sich allein noch nicht aussagekräftig genug ist, werden zur tatsächlichen Fehleranalyse die Metriken weiter aufgeschlüsselt.
The WAN Gateway hardware itself may cause problems, so it makes sense to incorporate it in the SLEs. WAN Assurance supports all SRX 300 series Juniper Gateways. It accesses information about the CPU, memory, temperature, fans and the power supply. This enables an estimation to be made as to whether the problem concerns the hardware itself, or the workload the equipment is having to process.
WAN Link Health
This checks the connection to the WAN edge. Some of the metrics monitored are IPSec, routing protocols and the WAN interface.
Finally, the traffic itself is evaluated. Latency, jitter, packet loss and round-trip time (RTT) are all considered. These values are particularly relevant if application-based Service Level Expectations need to be taken into account, and not just the general quality of service.
Of course, monitoring can also be activated for all of these metrics via Anomaly Detection. This triggers a warning if the value exceeds or falls below certain thresholds. However, with Marvis Actions, the smart AI can also resolve some of the faults and misconfigurations by itself, so that administration costs remain as low as possible.
With the WAN Assurance cloud service, Mist and Juniper are integrated even further, offering an exciting overall package for corporate networks able to cover all components from the Wi-Fi Access Point through to the WAN edge. With user-focused Service Level Expectations, you can ensure your users can work without interruptions, meaning you are directly boosting the productivity of your company. We would be happy to advise you on this subject.