Juniper Networks has put the finishing touches on its deal to buy Apstra, which was announced early last month. With the deal closed, the Apstra team is now part of Juniper’s data center business while Apstra CEO David Cheriton has joined Juniper as chief data center scientist.
Juniper is combining Apstra's solution network automation—which is based on an open, multi-vendor architecture—with its data-center networking portfolio, which centers on Juniper's JUNOS operating system. Juniper has said the combined platform would help public and private cloud partners optimize their operations as they work their way toward AI-driven autonomous networks.
Apstra’s vendor-agnostic representation of the network extends support across various environments, including those running Layer-3 IP fabrics, EVPN-VXLAN and SONiC (software for open networking in the cloud). Apstra had previously announced SONiC-related announcements with both Juniper and Cisco, the latter of which also touts its own intent-based networking capabilities.
Due to hyperscale cloud providers, along with data center and colocation facilities, data center operations have become increasingly complex. While there's some level of automation today in data centers, it has largely been focused on repetitive tasks.
Apstra first used the term "intent-based networking" when it came out of stealth mode in 2016. IBN is a software driven automation model that allows an administrator to set the desired outcomes for network orchestration. Based on those policies, IBN can automate the provisioning and configuration of services while also managing application services.
“The Apstra acquisition is a significant milestone for our business that reinforces our commitment to transforming data center operations," said Juniper Networks' Mike Bushong, vice president of data Center product management, in a statement. "Apstra’s focus on intent-based networking, closed-loop automation and fabric assurance is a perfect complement to Juniper’s award-winning hardware and software. Together, we can drive lasting customer value from design to deployment (Day 0 and 1) through everyday operations and assurance (Day 2 and beyond).”
Apstra was founded by Cheriton, Mansour Karam and Sasha Ratkovic.
Juniper hasn't said how much it paid for Apstra, but it may shed more light on the deal in Thursday's fourth quarter and fiscal 2020 earnings, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.