This is part VI in our multi-part blog series on the Self-Driving Network™. Find part V here.
Last month, Juniper launched “Cloud-Grade Networking” to chart the path forward as we help our customers build and use networks to gain competitive advantage. The vision consists of 4 pillars: Everywhere networking; Software Defined Secure Networks; Platform first; and my favorite, the Self-Driving Network.
Networks today are too complex, difficult, and expensive to manage and operate. They’re too brittle and not adequately protected from threats. We need networks that are operationally efficient, secure, reliable, and resilient and this is why we’re building the Self-Driving network.
The Self-Driving Network consists of infrastructure that is predictive, adaptive, and ultimately, responsive to its environment. Notifying an operator of an anomaly is nice, but that’s not good enough. You may have seen a recent ad that makes fun of a dental “monitor” who notifies his patient of a cavity but does nothing to fix it. The network should predict trouble ahead of time and then take the steps necessary to avoid problems so they never occur. But breakdowns will occur and when they do the network must automatically take corrective action.
The Self-Driving Network is the progression of a collection of technologies that includes: real-time telemetry, workflow automation, intent-driven networking, multi-modal views of the network, machine learning, and more. Another way to look at it is that it is an evolution from human-automation to event-driven-automation to machine-driven automation and on to full autonomy.
But make no mistake, the Self-Driving Network is more than just a good story. We have self-driving elements today and the steps listed above overlap significantly and don’t rigidly follow in sequence. Our Contrail and Northstar SDN controllers contain intent-driven capabilities today, while machine learning is critical to the operation of Sky ATP, our advanced threat protection service. And we’re developing additional self-driving capabilities into our product portfolio every day.