Unveils four more products that leverage vendor’s Mist AI technology
Juniper Networks is the latest networking vendor to roll out wireless access points that provide Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to such users as enterprises, SMBs, retail operations, and educational institutions.
The Lowdown: Juniper’s announcement comes about a week after competitors Aruba Networks and Netgear introduced their own access points that support the next generation of Wi-Fi connectivity, called Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax.
The Details: The Sunnyvale, California-based company this week introduced four Wi-Fi 6 access points that include artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities from Juniper’s Mist business, are operated via Juniper’s cloud services, and are also designed for outdoor environments.
The influx of new wireless access points from Juniper, Aruba, Netgear, and others comes as organizations of all sizes are trying to adapt to new work-from-home and distance-learning business models brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that require reliable wireless connectivity and other benefits of Wi-Fi 6, including faster speeds, improved security, and support for larger numbers of connected devices.
The new Wi-Fi 6 access point models introduced by Juniper are:
> AP63: An access point designed for outdoor use with virtual Bluetooth LE (vBLE) antenna array to deliver Wi-Fi 6 and location services and extremely high-performance capabilities in harsh environments.
> AP33: A high-performance access point with integrated vBLE antenna array for moderately dense operations that also require location services. This includes smaller enterprise offices, retail sites, K-12 schools, and medical clinics.
> AP32: The access points come integrated with omni BLE antenna to support both Wi-Fi connectivity and basic location services for cost-conscious users, such as remote workers, smaller enterprises, and K-12 school that don’t need advanced location services.
> AP12: The compact wall-plate access point offers easy and flexible deployment options and can connect multiple devices. It’s designed for such environments as home offices, remote workers, school dorms, and hotel rooms.
Leveraging Mist AI means greater automation and insights, including intelligent load balancing between radios and bands, service levels that monitor and enforce orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) subcarrier assignments, Basic Service Set (BSS) coloring assignments for high-density Wi-Fi environments, sticky client prevention using AI algorithms, and advanced radio resource management (RRM).
The access points are supported by Juniper’s Mist Wi-Fi Assurance cloud service that enables AIOps, including automated WLAN configuration, service-level expectations (SLEs), fault isolation, and anomaly detection.
Background: The latest access points come more than a year after Juniper launched the AP43, a cloud-managed access point that also leverages Mist AI technology. Wi-Fi 6 came to the market last year, with networking vendors like Cisco Systems and Ruckus Networks rolling out products that support 802.11ax.
The Buzz: “The new Wi-Fi 6 APs enable even more Juniper customers to attain the benefits of the AI-driven enterprise. It is now more affordable to bring automation and insight to traditionally cost-sensitive environments like small businesses, college dormitories, retail stores, and K-12 schools and outdoor environments,” said Sudheer Matta, vice president of products at Juniper. “In addition, we have bolstered our AI-Driven [email protected] solution with world-class wireless at a cost-effective price that is tightly integrated with our WAN Assurance, Marvis Virtual Network Assistant, and security offerings for the best user experiences from client to cloud.”
“This new portfolio is great for our school district’s needs,” said Steve Mitzel, director of IT at the Ashland School District in Oregon. “With COVID-19 and distance learning forcing us to rapidly evolve our communication methods, the AP12 in particular could solve many of our current problems and simplify things for remote employees who depend on a reliable network connection in order to do their jobs. I also see compelling use cases for the AP63 to extend our existing AI-driven network to key outdoor spaces.”