Mist, the pioneer in self-learning wireless networks, has announced the availability of the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-driven Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) for wireless operations and integrated helpdesk. Powered by Mist’s AI engine, Marvis, VNA is a new cloud-based micro-service that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make it easy to query the Mist global cloud for real-time monitoring of mobile client activity. VNA uses data science to easily identify Wi-Fi issues, understand the impact of wireless problems, correlate events across the wireless/wired/mobile device/IoT domains, and auto alert on anomalies. VNA makes IT smarter and faster and ensures the best experience for wireless users.

“VNA is the next step in Mist’s journey towards building an intelligent AI-driven network that simplifies operations, lowers operational expenses and gives unprecedented insight into the wireless user experience,” said Bob Friday, CTO and co-founder at Mist. “We started with a robust distributed micro-services-based software architecture built on a cloud-based platform that collects and manages an enormous amount of data. On top of this, we implemented a patented methodology for organizing and classifying this data into domain specific service levels. With today’s announcement, Mist now delivers a VNA that can answer questions on par with a wireless domain expert.”

According to a recent Gartner report, “The complexity of the access layer has risen because there are fewer IT resources to manage the increasing requirement for wireless connectivity. Instead of just collecting information at the edge of the network, vendors are using machine learning algorithms to automate discover, management, troubleshooting and resolution to automate the access layer.”1

In another report Gartner states, “In the three- to five-year horizon, AI solutions will be well-positioned to supersede dedicated network administration resources in the majority of areas concerning the fine-tuning of every aspect of the intelligent access layer network.”2

Natural Language Processing puts a face on Marvis
VNA brings NLP to network operations so IT staff can easily understand their network and client environment without having to manually sift through a myriad of data in numerous locations. Types of queries include:

  • Why is Bob’s smartphone having a problem?
  • Were there any anomalies between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the main campus?
  • List the three sites with lowest performance.
  • How many clients are on the guest network?

AI-driven operations simplify wireless troubleshooting and provide unprecedented insight for integrated helpdesk
Mist’s AI engine, Marvis,  uses machine learning to make IT smarter, solve network issues faster (hours to minutes), and make helpdesk personnel more efficient at problem resolution. This enables VNA to perform unique troubleshooting and helpdesk functions like anomaly detection, event correlation and confidence ratings to rapidly solve (or avoid) the following types of wired, wireless and device problems:

  • DHCP (duplicate addresses, server down, …)
  • RADIUS (wrong user name, expired certs, …)
  • WAN (packet loss, intermittent dropping, …)
  • WLAN (interference, coverage, roaming, …)
  • Security (Pre-shared key typed incorrectly)

With VNA (powered by Marvis), IT becomes proactive and gets smarter over time, so mobile users always get an amazing Wi-Fi experience.

The Mist Virtual Network Assistant is available now for limited release and will be generally available in March 2018.

Similar to other Mist services (e.g. Mist Wi-Fi assurance, Mist BLE Engagement and Mist BLE Asset Location), VNA is sold as an annual cloud subscription in conjunction with Mist Access Points. Multi-year subscription terms are available. Please contact a Mist representative herefor pricing.