Mist Beats the Competition

The Mist platform is built on a modern microservices cloud architecture for elastic scale and agility. An inline AI engine delivers unprecedented insight and automation. Virtual Bluetooth® LE enables personalized location services with ease and scale.

It’s time to retire your controllers and first generation cloud WLAN solutions.

Mist Came at the Right Time.

Top Architecture Differences

Mist is a massively scalable, distributed software architecture built with modern cloud tools.

First generation cloud solutions are made up of virtual controllers in distributed datacenters.

Mist uses AI to automate operations and give visibility into the user experience.

 

Others provide event logs and network status indicators, not actionable and proactive insight.

Mist virtualizes the indoor experience with machine learning, virtual beacons, and patented antenna technology.

Others rely on battery beacons for Bluetooth® LE location.

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Feature Comparison

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Cisco
Architecture
Core Design
- Controller-free modern microservices architecture
- Service containerization
- Quick and low-risk feature updates
- Near real-time bug fixing without network disruption
- 1st generation cloud
- Legacy sharded database in hosted database 'cloud'
- Virtual controller-based
- Controller-based legacy monolithic software architecture
- Lack of strong cloud solution - limited to SMB
- Lots of hardware & boxes all needing proper versions
- Multiple non-integrated products and OS (10+)
- Controller-based legacy monolithic software architecture
- Lack of strong cloud solution - limited to SMB
- Lots of hardware & boxes all needing proper versions
- Multiple non-integrated products and OS (10+)
Scalability
- Elastic vertical and horizontal scale
- No expensive hardware required
- Complex and non-elastic
- Virtual controllers hosted in co-located data centers
- Require separate servers to scale
- Non-elastic with more controllers required
- Non-elastic with more controllers required
Programmability
- 100% accessible through APIs
- Supports Ansible for complete IT automation
- Limited set of 'bolt on' APIs
- Limited set of APIs
- Only a couple of wired switches have full API access
- Limited set of APIs
Resiliency
- Microservice containerization
- The failure of one service doesn’t impact others
- Redundant virtual controllers
- Very complex with more hardware required (Controllers, Mobility Masters)
- Each piece of hardware needs proper software versions
- Version compatability matrix a nightmare
- Complex with more hardware required
- Each piece of hardware needs proper software versions
- Version compatablity matrix a nightmare
Agility
- Modern, microservices-based cloud, instead of monolithic code base
- Rapid updates without network disruption
- 1st generation cloud with VMs and hypervisors
- Slow updates due to the lack of a modern microservices architecture
- Monolithic (brittle) software with poor ability to update for new devices/apps/fixes
- High risk to update
- Monolithic (brittle) software with poor ability to update for new devices/apps/fixes
- High risk to update
Deployment flexibility and cloud management
- Scale from the largest to the smallest enterprise businesses for rapid updates
- CSO offers on-premises and cloud management
Virtual controllers hosted in co-located data centers
- Centralized controller architecture with monolithic software and limited and bug ridden updates
- Offers on-premises and cloud solutions
- Offered across different applications
- On-premises with no cloud offering for SDA
- Uses a centralized, proprietary controller
AI
Virtual Assistant
- Marvis Virtual Network Assistant leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Continuous learning of the NLP engine through Supervised Machine Learning
- Performs root cause analysis for most detected network issues
- Supports both wireless and wired
- Helpdesk can ask Marvis to troubleshoot issues instead of pulling logs
- Can be accessed through WebUI or API
- Dashboard
- No virtual assistant
- Dashboard
- No virtual assistant
- Dashboard
- Chatbot rumored but not productized or available to customers in beta
Anomaly Detection
- Proactively identifies anomalies and uses data science tools to determine root cause
- Leverages both Wired and Wireless SLEs for anomaly detection
- 3rd generation algorithm with ARIMA boosts efficacy
- Anomaly detection performed across Wi-Fi, LAN, WAN, Security Domains
- 1st generation anomaly detection algorithm
- Requires data collector appliance
- Limited set of anomaly detection (DHCP, AAA, RF utilization)
- Requires NetInsight Data Collector appliance
- 1st generation anomaly detection algorithm
- Limited anomalies detected (DHCP, AAA, Association, Throughput)
- Requires Cisco DNA appliances (3+)
Self-Driving Capabilities
- Marvis Action Framework
- Self-Driving for correcting switch config errors
- Self-Driving for RF optimization
- Self-Driving for diagnosing and correcting unhealthy APs
- Self-Driving for performing proactive RMA on hardware failure
- Driver-Assist actions for external systems
- Dashboards
- No self-driving capabilities
- Dashboards
- No self-driving capabilities
- Very basic driver-assist capabilities (identifies channel utilization issues and poor DHCP/AAA performance for IT to manually investigate)
- Dashboards
- No self-driving capabilities
AI-Driven Location
Creation of probability surfaces in the cloud and ongoing unsupervised machine learning to constantly update the model
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement
- Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement
- Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients
- Requires CMX appliance onsite (even for DNA Spaces)
- Requires 3rd party BLE integration.
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement. Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients.
AI-Driven RF Optimization
Based on reinforcement learning:
- Optimizes channel/power with AI-based reinforcement learning
- AI continuously maximizes User experience (SLE) and minimizes interference in real-time
- Adapts dynamically on an ongoing basis while network under load
- Learns and deprioritizes triggered DFS channels to boost network uptime
Best Effort - No coordinated RF optimization nor use of AI/ML
Basic pattern recognition for comparing and optimizing low-level RF settings only across managed sites:
- Not a true AI solution: doesn’t leverage reinforcement learning to improve over time
- Doesn’t adjust RF to maximize user experience
- Analyzes periodical and static data for daily but not ongoing dynamic updates
- Requires Controller and Mobility Master for AirMatch RF optimization
- Requires data collector appliances and NetInsight server
15-year old algorithm
- Based on how APs hear each other
- Optimizes channel/power based solely on AP interference graph
- RRM is performed on a static, periodic basis when the load is low
AI-Driven Support
- Mist Support utilizes Marvis Virtual Assistant to troubleshoot issues
- Marvis efficacy is continuously evaluated and when support issues arise where data or answer is not available, we train Marvis or add the missing data collection
- When Marvis AI detects a hardware failure in an AP, it can perform an automatic RMA minimizing the "burden of proof" on IT teams to escalate issues with vendor
- As Mist AP deployments have grown at a rapid pace, support tickets have remained flat due to use of Marvis AI
- Dashboards
- No use of AI to automate support or support operations
- Dashboards
- No use of AI to automate support or support operations
- Dashboards
- No use of AI to automate support or support operations
AIOps
Service Level Monitoring
- Throughput, Time to Connect, Roaming, Coverage, Capacity, AP Uptime, Switch Health
- User/Site/Device level monitoring
- 100+ states monitored
Dashboards - Basic non-realtime event log monitoring (future)
- Dashboards - Basic non-realtime event log monitoring
- Requires NetInsight appliances and subscription $
- Dashboards - Basic non-realtime event log monitoring
- Requires DNA appliances $$$
Virtual Assistant to Accelerate Help Desk
Natural language queries with integrated helpdesk based on Marvis AI
Not available
Not available
Not available
Root Cause Identification
Automated event correlation using machine learning across wireless/wired/device domains.
Only event logs
Only available for the recent and feature-deficient ArubaOS-CX based switches which have a small installed base
- Limited RCA
- Requires DNA appliances $$$
Dynamic Packet Capture
- Proactively captures packets when an error event occurs in real-time
- Eliminates need to reproduce issues
Manual
- Primarily manual - limited auto capture on authentication failure events
- Requires overlay network of Cape Networks wireless sensor hardware
Manual
Baselining and Anomaly Detection
Proactive device/OS baselining and anomaly detection by AI system
Basic anomaly detection
Limited anomaly detection for a few states (DHCP, DNS, Assoc, Auth)
- Limited anomaly detection
- Requires DNA appliances $$$
Network Analytics
Deep end user data, Freemium & Subscription Offering
Wi-Fi only
- Wi-Fi only
- Requires additional appliance (ALE)
- Wi-Fi only
- Requires additional appliance (CMX)
Essential Wireless Features
Inline Microsegmentation
WxLAN classifies IoT/headless devices and segments by policy
Stateful firewall in AP with device/app
Stateful firewall in controller. IoT classification requires ClearPass $$$
Requires ISE
Personal WLAN (private user groups)
- Self-serve Personal WLAN for segmentation
- Unique PSK
Shared PSK or requires one SSID per group
- Requires ClearPass $$$ for user/role segmentation
- Shared PSK
- Requires ISE $$$ for user/role segmentation
- Shared PSK
Real-time RF View
Real-time RF Glasses show actual Wi-Fi and BLE coverage from both AP and client
Wi-Fi only; predicted, not actual RF coverage; not real-time
- Wi-Fi only; predicted, not actual RF coverage; not real-time
- Requires AirWave appliance
- Wi-Fi only; predicted, not actual RF coverage; not real-time
- Requires Prime appliance
Fast AP Boot
APs boot under 20 seconds
~1 minute
Several minutes
Several minutes
Automation & Optimization
AI for AX to automate and optimize Wi-Fi 6 network settings
- Lack of AI intelligence
- Manual, static configuration of features
- Lack of AI intelligence
- Manual, static configuration of features
- Lack of AI intelligence
- Manual, static configuration of features
Essential Wired Features
Wired Assurance
- Customizable Service Level Expectations (SLEs)
- Measure the wired experience
Limited insight into wired experience
Limited insight into wired experience
Requires on-premises DNAC
Telemetry
API driven and leverages telemetry data from Juniper EX Series Switches to offer anomaly detection and identify when switch health is trending negatively.
Limited telemetry
Telemetry for wireless, but very limited for wired switching
Limited telemetry
Stacking capabilities
10 member stacking with standards DAC and flexibile optics of various lengths up to 960Gbps
8 member stacking
10 member stacking
8 member Stackwise with proprietary cables and max of 3m length
High availability for redundency
- Virtual Chassis leads the wiring closet solution with NSSU, GRES, high capacity backplane, etc.
- Juniper switches support redundant hot swappable power supplies and fans
- Offers a variety of choices: MC-LAG, ESI-LAG, EVPN-VXLAN
Only stacking
Only offers VSX for distribution
Proprietary SD-Access solution and no interoperability with 3rd parties; requires DNA center to orchestrate
Multigigabit
1/2.5/5/10GbE speeds
1/2.5/5/10GbE speeds
1/2.5/5/10GbE speeds
1/2.5/5/10GbE speeds
Power over Ethernet
UPoE/PoE/PoE+
UPoE/PoE/PoE+
Up to 60W
UPoE/PoE/PoE+
Integrated Network Access Control
Compatible with 3rd parties such as Forescout, Clearpass, ISE, etc.
Only ISE integration
Clearpass is compatible with 3rd parties such as Forescout, ISE, Checkpoint, etc.
ISE & DNAC does not work with 3rd party
Security
- Juniper Connected Security brings visibility and enforcement to every part of the network
- SecIntel leverages EX Switches to quarantine compromise devices and Mist APs to monitor signs of compromise in connected devices
- MACSEC256 on select platforms
ISE and Stealthwatch. Integration with Open DNS
- Clearpass and Policy Enforcement Firewalls (PEFs) deliver enhanced visibility and policy enforcement
- Reliance on partners for integrated security
- ISE and Stealthwatch
- Integration with Open DNS
Common hardware building blocks
- A single operating system aross the Juniper hardware portfolio
- Common building blocks for WAN, WLAN and wired networks
One OS but requires complete different set of hardware (MX/MS/MR) from DNA solution
Convergence of HP and Aruba switches--new OS-CX runs on specific hardware platforms leading to a mix of operating systems
- Multiple non-integrated products that each have their own OS
- Can’t be managed by Meraki Cloud
- Hardware dependencies force upgrades to be DNA ready; Meraki requires a completely different set of hardware
Fabric architectures
EVPN-VXLAN, MC-LAG, ESI-LAG, VC supports 10 devices for stacking
- Lacks scale and full stack support for large enterprise without 100G and modular core offerings
- Does not support 3 tier deployment for bigger deployments
Poor resiliency with limited EVPN-VXLAN capabilities
SDA only has support for EVPN-VXLAN (proprietary using LISP)
Multivendor support
Built on open standard technologies like EVPN-VXLAN and NAC
Does not support multivendor
On-premises AirWave can do multivendor, but Cloud Central can not
Proprietary protocols
Location Engagement and Insight
BLE Antenna in APs
- Patented 16-element BLE antenna array
- Dynamic beam-forming
- Single integrated omni-directional BLE antenna
- Additional 3rd party battery-powered BLE beacons required for coverage
- Single integrated omni-directional BLE antenna
- Additional Aruba battery-powered BLE beacons required for coverage
- Single integrated omni-directional BLE antenna
- Additional 3rd party battery-powered BLE beacons required for coverage
- Only available with Cisco 4800 AP
Virtual Beacons
Unlimited virtual beacons per AP
No virtual beacons
No virtual beacons
No virtual beacons
Site Calibration (unsupervised machine learning)
- Unsupervised machine learning
- Site and device calibration without administrator input
- Requires 3rd party integration, not native
- Does not adapt/learn radio performance for new devices
- Requires accurate BLE coverage planning and manual beacon placement with mobile app during installation
- Does not adapt/learn radio performance for new devices
- Requires 3rd party BLE integration
- Does not adapt/learn radio performance for new devices
Location Algorithm
- Unsupervised machine learning
- Triangulates and adapts to varying BLE clients and changing RF
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement
- Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement
- Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients
- Requires 3rd party BLE integration
- Triangulation dependent on accurate map placement
- Errors introduced by variance in BLE clients
Location Analytics
- BLE & Wi-Fi
- Freemium and subscription services available
- API-first for ease of data sharing
Wi-Fi only
- Wi-Fi only
- Requires additional appliance (ALE)
- Wi-Fi only
- Requires additional appliance (CMX)
- Requires Cisco DNA Spaces
Asset Tracking
Tracking of 3rd party BLE asset tags
No asset tracking
- Tracking of Aruba BLE asset tags
- Requires Aruba 3xx model APs with integrated BLE beacon or overlay deployment of Aruba AS-100 wireless sensors
- Wi-Fi RFID tags only
- Requires additional appliance (CMX operational visibility)
BLE Overlay for Existing Wi-Fi Deployments
vBLE APs available
No BLE overlay solution
Requires many wall-plug Aruba AS-100 wireless sensors
No BLE overlay solution
Open Standards Economics
Interoperability, vendor neutral, efficient use of existing resources
Mulitiple solution offering
Mulitiple Solutions w/ proprietary limitations
Mulitiple Solution Offering
Comprehensive Built-in Applications
Best of breed solution via partnerships
Mulitiple solution offering
Single Vendor with proprietary limitations (Mapping)
- Workflow
- Asset visibility rules engine
Technology Versatility
- Native: Wi-Fi, vBLE
- 3rd Party Integration: BLE, UWB, LiDAR, Wi-Fi RADAR
- Native: Wi-Fi
- 3rd Party Integration: BLE, UWB
Wi-Fi, BLE, UWB
- Native: Wi-Fi
- 3rd Party Integration: BLE, UWB

Bob Friday, wireless visionary, explains the evolution of wireless and why Mist’s new AI-powered cloud was vital to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

Next Steps