Juniper targets data-center automation with Apstra update


Juniper Networks is releasing a new version of its Apstra intent-based networking software that includes more extensive configuration capabilities, additional multivendor hardware and software support, and improved environmental analytics.

Apstra keeps a real-time repository of configuration, telemetry and validation information to ensure a network is doing what the enterprise wants it to do. Companies can use Apstra’s automation capabilities to deliver consistent network and security policies for workloads across physical and virtual infrastructures.

In addition, Apstra performs regular network checks to safeguard configurations. It’s hardware agnostic, so it can be integrated to work with Juniper’s networking products as well as boxes from Cisco, Arista, Dell, Microsoft and Nvidia.

Since it bought Apstra in 2021, Juniper has been on a mission to add features and expand its use to a wider range of data center organizations. The latest upgrades continue that strategy.

Juniper Apstra version 4.1.2 can now push configurations in bulk across hundreds of routing zones, virtual networks and racks, for example. This lets customers more easily allocate virtual networks to new racks or assign multiple new racks all at one time rather than individually. 

Customers can more easily allocate – or deallocate as the case might be – resources and services depending on needs, according to a blog on the new Apstra release by Ben Baker, senior director, Cloud/DC Marketing & Business Analysis, with Juniper.

The new release also adds support for additional multivendor hardware such as the latest Cisco Nexus 9508 switch and Arista DCS-7280SR3 spine and leaf box. It also now integrates with the latest release of VMware’s NSX-T 3.2 networking software to automate VLAN deployment and validate configurations for customers using that software. 

Baker stated the vendor has also enhanced its recently introduced Freeform Reference Design package, which lets customers design data-center networks that support any protocol, topology or network domain. Data center reference designs are offered by all major data center players and typically feature validated, repeatable infrastructure system maps that detail how networked resources are configured.

New to the latest release is the ability to clone and edit configuration templates and property sets. It also supports new “configlets” that function like Chrome browser add-ons, so customers can seamlessly integrate the network device configuration tools they prefer, Baker stated.

For its intent-based analytics package, Juniper has added new probes that can report environmental conditions such as temperature, fan status, power consumption and optical transceiver health. The idea is to let customers monitor systems and be more quickly alerted to potential hardware problems to avoid failures and outages, Baker said. 

Juniper Apstra Version 4.1.2 will be available this month.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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