Mist and Juniper will Transform Network Operations Forever

Brett Galloway, Co-founder and Chairman of Mist, CEO of AttackIQ
Original article posted on LinkedIn.

As I reflect on last weeks announcement of Junipers intent to acquire Mist Systems, I wanted to share my vision for the creation of Mist in the spring of 2014: to deliver networks that are simultaneously highly capable and simple to operate.

First Generation Cloud Architectures Presented a Tactical Opportunity

At a tactical level, this vision responded to the void that was left between monolithic, legacy wireless LAN controller architectures and first-generation cloud-managed WLAN solutions such as Cisco Meraki and Aruba Central. These first-generation cloud platforms were architected before modern cloud technologies were available and hence lacked the agility and elasticity that allow a modern solution such as Mists to scale from small businesses to the largest of global enterprises. Prior to Mist, customers were presented with a stark choice: enterprise-capable or simple-to-manage chose one. With Mist customers no longer have to compromise one or the other. They can have both.

Transforming Network Operations Is the Real Strategic Opportunity

When we invented the wireless LAN controller category at Airespace, we were responding to a major shift in the networking market: the evolution of enterprise Wi-Fi networking from a specialist market to a generalist market. That was big, but Mist is responding to a far larger shift in the networking market: a shift in how customers evaluate networking products for purchase.

Historically, networking solutions were traditionally sold to architects based on features and then handed over to network operations teams to deploy and support. The disconnect between the architect selecting the products and the operator running the products has driven the entire industry to a position of soaring complexity, endless lists of frequently unusable features, and a systematic lack of accountability for usability and supportability. In parallel the industry has matured, the number of connected devices — both mobile and IoT — has soared, and Wi-Fi has moved from being a nice-to-have secondary network to being the primary user access network. Customers still need capable networks that deliver the services that their users need, but most of all they need to be able to operate those networks effectively and efficiently. What has changed is that that need is now driving purchasing decisions. Mist has delivered on that need with a ground-up system design that leverages modern cloud technologies to put user and operator experience first. That is why Mist has been succeeding in the market.

Extending the Hypothesis to Security

What is happening in networking is happening across the whole IT landscape. Vendors have delivered plenty of technology and complexity. Now its time for the vendor community to focus on ensuring that the technology is working. That is particularly necessary in cybersecurity. Enterprises typically operate dozens or even hundreds of security controls, yet nobody knows if the controls really work.

From the vantage point of my role as CEO of AttackIQ, I can say that they often dont work due to misconfigurations or gaps in coverage. AttackIQ delivers a continuous security validation solution that enables customers actively to test their security controls using tactics and techniques aligned with the MITRE ATT&CK knowledge base. AttackIQ answers the central questions: are my security controls working, and, if not, how do I fix them?

(Aside: to learn more about AttackIQ, please register for a 2-week trial of the AttackIQ solution here: Register Now.)

Summary

I am immensely proud of how the Mist team has delivered on my founding vision for Mist. And I am even more delighted at the combination of Mist and Juniper.

With Junipers vision towards engineering simplicity and Mists focus on leveraging AI and cloud technologies to bring agility and scalability to networking, I believe the future looks bright for the company. I eagerly anticipate the customer value that they will create together by delivering highly capable and operationally superior networks.

About The Author:
Brett Galloway is a co-founder and Chairman of Mist Systems as well as CEO of AttackIQ, a leader in the emerging market of continuous security validation. Brett has more than 30 years of executive and entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry. He has brought together technology, product, and business expertise to innovate and deliver a stream of successful product businesses. He is the former president and CEO of Airespace, which he sold to Cisco. He served at Cisco as the Senior Vice President of the Network Services Group and Enterprise Strategy. Prior to Airespace, he was the co-founder, chief operating officer, and later CEO of Packeteer, which launched an initial public offering (IPO) in 1999. Brett holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.