Mist is continuously extending its services. The latest is: Mist Wired Assurance. This service enables you to incorporate Juniper EX series access and aggregation switches* into the Mist dashboard.
Since Juniper Mist was purchased by Juniper in April 2019, a synthesis of their systems has been expected. And, less than a year later, this moment has come. The Mist services were extended by the Wired Assurance service in the first quarter of 2020. This service does not only enable you to incorporate EX series* switches from Juniper into the dashboard. It also offers full integration with the artificial intelligence Marvis. The service functions in a similar way to the long-existing Wi-Fi Assurance service. Mist access points are not necessary; you can also use the service if you only have Juniper EX switches*.
The Mist dashboard has been extended with the menu icon “Switches” because, although wireless networks are becoming increasingly important and are already the main supplier for end devices in many organisations, to ensure stable Wi-Fi coverage it is important to include the switches forming the backbone of the network. In addition, it must not be forgotten that a large number of IoT devices are connected by cables and this will remain the case for some time to come. This is where Mist is taking action – with its integration of Juniper’s EX switches*.
The added value of Wired Assurance
Mist’s objective is not only to make setup easier with Service Level Expectations (SLE), but to monitor the operation of the network and detect potential problems and bottlenecks before they result in network outages. In order to fulfil the Service Level Expectations, three central values are constantly monitored: time to connect, throughput and switch health. If these fall below specified parameters, this indicates a problem with the network and warning notifications can be triggered via the API interface.
In multivendor environments, Wired Assurance also provides a series of data about the connected switches, even if they don’t come from Juniper. The basic version provides information on firmware compliance (here it it is not so important that the latest firmware has been installed, but rather that all the switches are running on the same version, as far as is possible), AP affinity (to ensure good Wi-Fi coverage, only a defined number of access points should be operated per switch), power compliance (identifies switches not meeting 802.3at standards) and inactive wired VLANs.
A great deal more information can be called up for the Juniper EX switches. For example, the dashboard offers information about port assignments, CPU and memory utilisation or electricity consumption. There is also the option of communicating directly with the switch via Junos Shell, to execute commands which are not currently integrated in the dashboard.
Proactive monitoring with Marvis
In combination with the Marvis virtual network assistant, the switch monitoring data can be used for proactive network monitoring. As for Wi-Fi, the main focus here is not just to highlight faults, but to offer solution-orientated suggestions for a more stable network. This is also the main focus for the switch integration. The main problems in networks come from faulty and defective ethernet cables and poor data rates due to incorrect port negotiation. By performing its own cable tests and autonomously monitoring the throughput, Marvis can spot these problems and warn you about them before the user experience is significantly impaired. Of course, the Marvis virtual network assistant is conceived to encompass both wired and wireless networks, so you get all the information in a single package – giving you an appreciation of your entire network at a glance.
If you want to find out more about the new Wired Assurance services, Mist is offering an on demand webinar which goes into detail about the new service and its possibilities. Naturally, we at HCD Consulting are also happy to help answer your questions about Mist Wired Assurance and other Mist services.
* The following models are supported: EX2300-C/EX2300-C, EX2300 Multigigabit, EX3400, EX4300, EX4300 Multigigabit, EX4600, EX4650 (as of 2/2020).