Juniper Networks has created some new applications that translate intent into automated workflows within networks. It’s calling these applications “bots.” They include the Contrail PeerBot, the Contrail TestBot, and the AppFormix Health Bot.
Donyel Jones-Williams, director of product marketing management at Juniper, said the simplest explanation for a bot is that it’s an automated application that ingests the user’s intent and then figures out how to implement it. “We’re announcing three bots, but there’s a whole library of bots we’re going to introduce,” he said.
The Contrail PeerBot automates the process of network peering – managing multiple Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing and complex policies.
“Internet exchange providers have to go through a laborious process for peering,” said Jones-Williams. “With this PeerBot we’re helping them to simplify all their peering interaction.”
The Contrail TestBot is an application that helps network operators embrace a DevOps approach for continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD). It automates the continuous auditing of design, provisioning, and deployment changes in the network.
And finally, the AppFormix HealthBot is a machine learning health tracker for the network that leverages Juniper’s AppFormix to collect real-time network data and translate that for troubleshooting.
Juniper purchased the startup AppFormix in 2016. The software provides operators with real-time and historic monitoring and performance optimization. It has now been merged with Juniper’s Contrail technology.
Earlier this week, Telefónica said it was testing Juniper’s Junos Telemetry Interface to collect the data needed to detect the state of network resources and services. And Jones-Williams explained that with Junos Telemetry Interface, Juniper is putting probe functionality within its silicon. The probes then stream information out of the router at different levels back to a collector.
That collector is the AppFormix HealthBot. “This is the collector that sits on the other side of the Telemetry Interface,” said Jones-Williams. “We’re taking all this data, using machine intelligence, and checking the health.”
Juniper also today announced enhancements to its Juniper Extension Toolkit (JET). It’s extended the current management and control API framework of JET to the data plane, enabling developers to create applications with direct data plane access on Juniper’s vMX and MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers. Developers using JET now have access to advanced network programmability with Junos OS, giving them control over the silicon that powers the edge routers.