Juniper Apstra is a software only intent-based, closed-loop, multi-vendor networking product that provides a complete fabric management solution, and more!
Basically, it is a solution that allows you to configure and manage your data centre network with the main feature being it’s vendor agnostic. You can manage multiple data centres running different hardware using the same management platform.
Also a new feature of Juniper Apstra is Freeform, where you can now design and build all other kinds of network topologies. It is currently limited to Juniper (as of November 2022) but other vendors are being added to this amazing feature.
When did Juniper acquire Apstra?
Juniper acquired open source intent based networking provider Apstra in August 2022 with version 3.3 of the Apstra Operating System (AOS)
What is intent based networking?
Intent based networking is a form of network administration that uses artificial intelligence (AI), network orchestration and machine learning to provision and configure network infrastructure.
Instead of deciding on what you want your network to do and then writing all the configuration files to implement it, you instead define what outcome you want from the network and your network automation solution (Juniper Apstra) provisions the infrastrcture to make that happen. So you don’t have to worry about specific device configuration.
Juniper Apstra vs Cisco ACI
Whilst they are two completely different solutions, there are some similarities which are discussed below.
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is is a software-defined networking (SDN) solution designed for data centres. Cisco ACI allows network infrastructure to be defined based upon network policies. It is Cisco proprietary.
Juniper Apstra is a software-only, multi-vendor, intent-based networking solution that provides closed-loop automation and assurance to provide a complete fabric management solution. Treating the network hardware as a commodity to be configured without much concern to the vendor of that hardware.
The first major difference is the fact that Cisco ACI is Cisco’s software defined data centre solution and encompasses Cisco switching based on the Nexus platform and the use of the Cisco Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) to manage and configure the infrastructure.
On the other hand, Juniper Apstra is a solution designed to deliver intent based network configuration and management of multi vendor data centre network hardware.
Cisco ACI is only Cisco whilst Juniper Apstra is an intent based networking solution to configure multi-vendor networks.
- Both are management platforms that automate the configuration of a fabric based network
- Both store policy information
- Both say they are “Intent-Based Networking Platforms”
- Apstra is an Intent based, closed loop and multi vendor configuration solution.
- ACI is Cisco proprietary, you are locked to Cisco hardware and it is not closed loop.
Juniper Apstra Documentation
You can find the Juniper Apstra documentation here
Juniper Apstra: Simplifying Network Management for Cloud Service Providers
As cloud service providers continue to grow and expand their offerings, managing complex networking infrastructure becomes increasingly challenging. Juniper Apstra is a comprehensive network management solution that simplifies the process of managing networking infrastructure in the cloud. By leveraging a combination of software-defined networking, automation, and analytics, Juniper Apstra provides a robust platform that streamlines networking management and reduces the time and resources required to manage complex networking environments.
Junos: The Operating System Behind Juniper Apstra
Juniper Apstra is built on top of Junos, Juniper Network’s flagship operating system. Junos provides the underlying foundation for Juniper Apstra’s management and automation capabilities. With Junos, network administrators can manage and configure all aspects of their networking environment, including routers, switches, and firewalls. Junos also supports a wide range of protocols, including VLAN, LACP, VPN, and IPv6, making it a versatile solution for cloud service providers.
Automated Networking with Juniper Apstra
One of the most powerful features of Juniper Apstra is its ability to automate networking tasks. With the on-demand provisioning capabilities of Juniper Apstra, administrators can easily configure and deploy new network resources as needed, without the need for manual intervention. Juniper Apstra also includes a range of pre-built templates and dashboards, which can be used to quickly configure and deploy common network configurations.
Analytics and Visibility with Juniper Apstra
In addition to its automation capabilities, Juniper Apstra also includes robust analytics and visibility tools. With Juniper Apstra, administrators can easily monitor the performance of their networking environment, including traffic patterns, bandwidth utilization, and latency. Juniper Apstra also provides detailed insights into network health and performance, allowing administrators to quickly identify and resolve issues as they arise.
Support for IPv4 and IPv6
Juniper Apstra provides support for both IPv4 and IPv6 networking, making it a versatile solution for cloud service providers. With support for IPv6, Juniper Apstra can help organizations transition to this new networking standard, enabling them to take advantage of the increased address space and other benefits of IPv6.
Hypervisor Integration with Juniper Apstra
Juniper Apstra also supports integration with hypervisors, making it an ideal solution for cloud service providers. With support for hypervisors, administrators can easily manage and configure virtual networking environments, including virtual switches, routers, and firewalls. This integration also enables administrators to quickly provision and deploy virtual network resources as needed.
Managing complex networking infrastructure can be a significant challenge for cloud service providers. However, with Juniper Apstra, organizations can simplify the process of managing their networking environment, reducing the time and resources required to manage complex networking environments. With support for a wide range of protocols, automated networking capabilities, and robust analytics and visibility tools, Juniper Apstra provides a powerful platform for managing networking infrastructure in the cloud.
Juniper Apstra Competitors