LAS VEGAS — Juniper Networks is taking a page from Cisco and introducing EngNet, a series of automation tools and supporting resources that are intended to help networks become more automated. The company announced these automation tools at its annual NXTWORK customer event this week.
While Juniper stops short of using the term intent-based networking (IBN), its latest products basically have the same goal, which is to move away from command line interface (CLI) manual programming and modernize networking tasks.
But Juniper says its approach is different because its automation tools are rolled into a single site, EngNet, that the company says includes resources and social communities as well as access to API documentation. The company is also encouraging engineers to use its new tools and offers a portal where they can learn and experiment.
According to Michael Bushong, Juniper’s vice president of enterprise and cloud marketing, the key differentiator for Juniper is that it is focusing on the individual. “We fundamentally believe that whether or not enterprises succeed depends upon the individuals,” he said. “Training is where our focus is.”
A recent Gartner report said that 70 percent of networks are still dominated by CLI, but by 2022 only 25 percent of network operations teams will use CLI as their primary interface. Bushong noted that the only way network engineers will alter their reliance upon CLI is if automation becomes more mainstream. And to do that engineers need training.
To complement EngNet, Juniper is also introducing NRE Labs, a web-based on-demand automation training curriculum that provides exercises for engineers. The training is intended for the emerging network reliability engineering role and it is offered free of charge to anyone interested in advancing their skills.
The company also is introducing Cloud Customer Certification Labs, which will provide users with a platform in the Juniper cloud where they can design and run a virtual lab environment using network automation tools. This is intended for customers without physical labs or who want to supplement their existing physical labs.