Mist, acquired by Juniper Networks in 2019, built the first AI-driven Wireless LAN (WLAN), which makes Wi-Fi predictable, reliable, and measurable and enables scalable indoor location services like wayfinding, proximity messaging and asset visibility.
In addition, Mist’s AI technology plays a key role in bringing automation and insight across the full IT stack, delivering seamless end-to-end user experiences and substantial IT cost savings.
The Mist acquisition will enhance Juniper’s enterprise networking portfolio by combining Mist’s next-generation Wireless LAN (WLAN) platform with Juniper’s best-in-class wired LAN, SD-WAN and security solutions to deliver unsurpassed end-to-end user and IT experiences.
After hearing so much about Mist while attending NXTWORK in Las Vegas I wanted to experience and evaluate the product for myself. I contacted Fujitsu’s account manager who promptly put me in contact with Mist. Four AP’s had landed on my desk within days and I raised the relevant paperwork to have the devices installed in one of our meeting areas.
The physical installation was completed in minutes – Mist AP41’s are a perfect fit for the previously installed Cisco AP’s, fitting directly into the existing ceiling brackets.
Next the AP’s needed on-boarding into the Mist Cloud Management platform. Something that again was done with ease. After setting up my organisation and inputting the activation code for the AP’s I was up and running without needing any servers, appliances or VM’s.
I had seen lots of demonstrations of Mist WiFi location services tracking people as they move around the building so the first thing I wanted to do was see this in action. With the floorplan uploaded and simply scaled I was ready to drag and drop my AP’s into place. All four AP’s were added to the floorplan and I was ready to test Wayfinding and location services. Wayfinding helps employees, guests, and customers get to where they need to be with turn-by-turn directions.
Mist’s User Engagement Cloud Subscription Service leverages the Virtual BLE (vBLE) array technology and cloud-based machine learning to improve the accuracy of real-time indoor location services from wayfinding to location-based proximity notifications.
What makes this even cooler is the push messages you can send using virtual beacons. Gone are the days of battery powered beacons fixed to the walls and the need for regular maintenance. A single Mist AP can replace 10’s of battery beacons.
I wanted to insert push notifications as guests first arrived in the meeting area, and again when they entered meeting room 117. The blue circles are me walking through the meeting area and the push notifications arrived with real accuracy as can be seen below.
With the system up and running I was keen to see how easy or difficult the management platform would be for accessing analytics and troubleshooting.
One key component is the Analytics for visitor engagement as can be seen below from the Dwell Time & Visit Template.
Monitor visits and dwell times, with detailed drill down into zone traffic patterns and congestion points.
Now for the game changer – Marvis.
Marvis uses machine learning to perform unique troubleshooting and helpdesk functions like anomaly detection, event correlation, and confidence ratings. By leveraging APIs, this can trigger automated workflows so you can rapidly solve (or avoid) wired, wireless and device problems.
Navigating through the management console is quick and easy and within a few clicks you have access to packet captures for the ultimate troubleshooting experience.
There is a wealth of information at your fingertips to help pinpoint and resolve any issues.
This is best seen with the use of a video as can be seen below. The free text input to Marvis is truely excellent.
The challenge now is to get more users onto the system in an attempt to create a much bigger data lake for analysis. My first impressions of Mist are that it is extremely impressive. I will now continue to evaluate the system and may write a follow up blog as I get to grips with the management platform and AI-powered automation and service levels for Juniper EX Series Switches.
Wired Assurance is bringing Juniper Networks EX switches to the Mist Systems dashboard and leveraging the power of Mist AI to solve wired problems. Welcome to the AI-Driven Enterprise.