Last December, Juniper acquired the cloud operations management and optimization startup AppFormix and said that it planned to integrate it with its own Contrail product line. That integration is moving swiftly, but under the aegis of Juniper, it’s also adding new features to its platform that are meant to better support Juniper’s customers. The first of these is an integration with VMware’s vSphere virtualization platform, which the company announced today.
In its first incarnation, AppFormix focused strongly on private clouds running OpenStack and Kubernetes, as well the largest public clouds from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. “But most enterprises are using VMware,” AppFromix founder Sumeet Singh told me. “That was always a gap in our solution.” So after the acquisition by Juniper, the first set of new resources the team got went into adding support for VMware into the company’s platform.
The idea behind AppFormix is to give enterprises not only better insights into the applications they are running — even if they span different clouds — but also to allow them to essentially put on autopilot their cloud and the software-defined networks that tie their machines together. Juniper likes to call this the “self-driving network,” that is, a networking setup that is smart enough to monitor itself and, if things go wrong, automatically correct issues and defend itself from possible intruders.
With the added support for VMware, enterprises can now use a single tools to monitor and optimize their hybrid cloud setups across platforms.
Juniper, which counts among its clients a large number of large telecom operators that are currently looking at modernizing their networks, acquired AppFormix to get a head-start in this space. Many of these telcos, as Singh told me, are currently using OpenStack in production (and indeed, the telco industry was among the first and most enthusiastic backer of the OpenStack project), and some are now starting to experiment with Kubernetes for managing software containers (either on bare metal or using OpenStack, too).
“At AppFormix, we got a number of really big customers,” Singh said. “But part of the reason we decided to join hands with Contrail and Juniper is that it’s in Juniper’s DNA to have these close relationships with all of these large telcos that are spread all over the world. With Juniper, we’ve been able to attract many of these telcos as well — not just in America but also in Asia and South America.”