Junos Space: all-round monitoring and management platform?

My first impression: not really, at least – not right now. Junos Space is an open network management platform from Juniper. I never used it before, and  the question that I tried to answer upon the first encounter – how good is Junos Space as all-round tool? If most of my network is Juniper based, would I use it for daily maintenance?

Juniper experts may point me to features I did not notice – please do! At this moment my judgement is as on the following drawing.

Let’s see what there inside the box.

Basic features

Vendor neutrality

Expectation: At least for the most basic features, the tool must be vendor neutral. Even in mostly standardized IT environment, you will find few vendors on your list.

Junos Space works only with Juniper devices, and more than that – it works with Junos-based devices only: routers, switches, and firewalls. No wireless. Nothing else.

Availability management

Expectation: In its basic form, a tool must ping the object on regular basis and display the history graph showing response time in milliseconds, and device status as Up/Down.

Junos Space can show the status of managed Junos, but provides no history graphs. You cannot add non-Junos device even for simplest monitoring by ping.

Inventory management

Expectation: Basic inventory parameters, such as model/software/memory/etc must be collected for each device. The tool must support various kinds of reports. It must be able to retrieve custom SNMP MIB object value and build a graph on it.

Junos Space displays inventory for managed Junos devices, but to my surprise does not have the Reporting built-in. You can only put your inventory through a filter and export into the text file. No possibility to manage non-Junos devices by SNMP.

Event management

Expectation: A tool must receive syslog and SNMP traps, have an efficient search/filter engine, and be able to raise custom alerts on their basis.

Junos Space handles events from managed Junos devices, but cannot act as syslog/SNMPtrap server for other device types.

Visualization (network map)

Expectations: A tool must show a map with objects on it, and ideally with auto-generated links between them. Maps must be clickable, allowing you to navigate through Country-Region-Site levels.

Junos Space does not support this functionality, nor can it display the direct neighbours of a device.

Advanced features

Configuration Management

Expectation: A tool must be able to retrieve configuration from device, run the comparison, be able to prepare a template and deploy it to the device.

Junos Space perfectly covers the Junos-based devices, but can’t handle any other device types.

Release Management

Expectation: A tool must be able to manage software images for network devices: hold the image library, upload the code to device, trigger the activation.

Junos Space perfectly covers the Junos-based devices, but can’t handle any other device types.

Capacity Management

Expectation: As a minimum, a tool must be able to retrieve interface utilization stats via SNMP and show utilization graphs. In more advanced form, it must be able to work with XFlow (NetFlow, JFlow, etc) to act as flow collector and run reports on it.

Junos Space does not support this functionality.

Overall conclusion

At present, Junos Space is an excellent tool, but it must come as add-on to some other generic network monitoring product. Even for Junos-based devices, it misses some of the most basic features but excels in covering advanced stuff. Note however that Junos Space is an open platform, which means that anyone can start writing modules for it, filling in gaps in vendor support or features.

Many thanks to Infradata for the demo and technical presentation.


Alex Mavrin, CCIE #7846

Visit http://www.apteriks.com and use FREE ONLINE tools for network professionals.

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2 comments

  1. Interesting fresh although a little bit naive view at the Junos Space from the enterprise NMS perspective. Why naive – because the author hopes of all encompassing NMS/OSS/BSS system from one single vendor are will, most likely, not come true, at least in our life-span. This is one of the reasons why such a diverse and complex universe of NMS/OSS/BSS systems still exists and even strives, where countless vendors compete and collaborate at the same time. This is probably why Juniper attempted to create a platform for network innovation, where many vendors may add functionality which is missing, improve the functions which are present, integrate and augment it with their own products. My partner is one of such vendors who already developed some of the functions which are listed as missing by the author – an OSPF topology discovery and network visualisation app for Junos Space.
    At the conclusion I would like to add that, although I do not share the views of the author on the subject, I admire his sober and no-nonsence analytical approach to the analysis of the complex systems. I hope this blog article would spur the healthy discussion on the topic among the interested and knowledgeable community.

    1. The harsh reality is that before using many nice and advanced features, the IT Delivery team will need to have full visibility of Availability, Inventory, Capacity and Event domains. That’s how we calculate SLAs, and plan upgrades, and analyze problems, and predict issues before they appear. From the support perspective, they take priority over, for example, automation of configurations or software updates.

      Having these features somewhat limited in Junos Space – means that next to it there must be another NMS platform supporting them. That’s the main thing that I tried to share.

      I hope that the open nature of Junos Space will let these gaps be filled in in the nearest future.

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