Juniper’s De-centralized, Centralized, Intelligent AP, Controller Based Wireless Solution

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That’s right, Trapeze Juniper is back and making a real move into the wireless market. I’ll be completely honest, I was a little startled to see their name in the list of vendors. They really pulled it off though. It’s going to be a formidable foe to the status quo of enterprise wireless networking, especially with the name recognition Juniper has with engineers. They’ve got some polish to add yet, but they’re 99% of the way there.

First off, the controller situation. They cluster. That’s a nice feature to have which combats the sub-second failover and licensing issues we see in some other vendor solutions. Then they’re taking the controllers and moving them around, letting the designer put the controllers where ever it may make sense (hint: not always in the datacenter), utilizing the best features of both centralized and locally switched architectures by mixing them together. When you do this and add some intelligence to all layers of the product, the user can get the best route to the network based on the policies put in place by you.

Next up was how Juniper redesigned the access points and produced a product that they claim is the best AP on the market for less money. This was based on tests done against a couple of the competitor’s flagship APs. They didn’t stop at the antenna and radio design though, they even included the mounting solution. That kind of attention to detail went a long way with the people in the room who may end up needing to hang these in the future.

After that was a demonstration of simplified management where they touched on some of the key features that are going to set this solution apart. The features included in-service software update (ISSU), licensing, and hitless failover (done live with over a dozen iPads streaming video).

After that the presentation moved into the interface, Ringmaster, and all of the functionality found there. Ringmaster is where you planning, reporting, monitoring, and location history live.

Juniper closed their session with the obligatory BYOD solution. I was a bit stunned at first to see that they are basically OEMing Cloudpath’s XpressConnect software. Then I realized that I run it on my network and have been incredibly happy with it, why reinvent the wheel? It’s a great product. Using Cloudpath’s onboarding techniques and then integrating it into their systems allows Juniper to focus on other areas of their design.

Watch the videos below to see more on each area of the discussion.

I think I’ve forgotten something… oh yeah, keep an eye out for these controllers to be running Junos in the future. No date, no timeline, no goals given yet. All we know is "it’s on the roadmap." A truly unified OS across the entire portfolio is a stunning feat and just knowing that they’re working on it is good enough for me.

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