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Juniper Expands Routing, Switching Lines

Juniper's new SRX 650
Juniper's new SRX 650
Source: Juniper

Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR) is aiming to capitalize on growing interest among enterprise buyers for its networking lineup, today introducing new service gateway router and switch offerings.

In total, Juniper is adding four new products to its SRX series and one new EX switch, which also add in new security, routing and switching capabilities to the company's product portfolio.

The new hardware rollout comes as the networking vendor's carrier business slows while the enterprise side of its business is gaining despite the down economy. While Juniper's enterprise sales have been growing in part thanks to its new switch business, new challenges are emerging as competitors Cisco, HP ProCurve and Brocade ramp up their respective switching businesses.

"It is our belief that networking and security work better when they work together," Scott Calzia, senior product marketing manager at Juniper, told InternetNews.com.

The SRX first debuted from Juniper in 2008 with the high-end SRX 5600 and 5800. The SRX is now being expanded at the entry level with the fixed-form-factor SRX100 and the one-slot SRX210. At the mid-tier, Juniper is adding the four-slot, SRX240 as well as the larger SRX 650, which sports eight slots, a 7.0 Gbps firewall, 1.5 Gbps IPSec VPN, and 900 Mbps IPS.

Juniper is also adding new security features onto the SRX boxes.

"We're providing hardware-assisted Content Security Acceleration (CSA)," Calzia explained. "What this allows us to do is something called Express AV which is a flow-based antivirus, versus a file-based approach."

"It allows us to deliver traffic faster to users since we don't have to capture the file, execute anti-virus and then forward the file back to the user," he said.

The SRX also now delivers the ability to more effectively manage enterprise connectivity to both the public Internet as well as MPLS-based connections, Juniper said.

"We do see lots of companies that are adopting hybrid WAN architectures where they purchase expensive MPLS bandwidth for the benefits of privacy and latency control and then they augment that bandwidth with something called split tunneling," Scott Lucas, director of product marketing at Juniper, told InternetNews.com. "In other words, they bleed off some of the non-essential or non-latency-sensitive traffic to direct connections to the Internet."

"That's a great cost control strategy but it does put enterprise in a situation where they need to rethink security -- that's where these SRX boxes can shine," he added.

Lucas said the SRX can support MPLS as well as public Internet connections and can perform, manage and secure split tunneling scenarios.

Having the ability to do IPS on a gateway box is something that Juniper's competitors are also keen on. HP ProCurve recently announced its entry into the space, while Cisco recently talked up its IPS 7.0 for its own integrated take on the technology.

Cisco's approach may be a little different, however: It's providing cloud security correlation for its IPS customers, sharing global threat information among customers in an effort to help expedite threat detection.

Juniper's spokespersons declined to comment on whether SRX will offer similar capabilities.

Beyond the security and traffic-routing capabilities of the SRX, the SRX240 and the bigger SRX 650 will be able handle voice traffic, acting as a media gateway for enterprise networks.

Enter the switch

Juniper officially entered the switch market in January 2008, with its EX switch product portfolio. The EX is being expanded today with the EX2200 series switches, which will be Juniper's new, entry-level switch, with up to 48 ports and support for Power over Ethernet (PoE).

"We're incorporating the switching capabilities of JUNOS and putting it into a small package," Calzia explained, referring to Juniper's core operating system that's at the heart of nearly all of its networking gear. "At the end of the day, what we're providing is 10/100/1000 Mbps capabilities, PoE, Quality of Service and integrated access control."

Both the Ex switch and the SRX switches support Juniper's Unified Access Control solutions, which the company also updated in March.

Despite the range of updates, one area in which Juniper is keeping quiet is in the space rival Cisco calls the Unified Computing System. That area -- which centers around unifying network, storage, server and virtualization capabilities into one system -- has been a focus of Cisco's as of late, and is seen as a way for the networking colossus to gain an even greater footprint in the datacenter.

Juniper's spokespersons declined to comment on the system.

That doesn't mean Juniper isn't working on its own similar unified fabric for the datacenter, though. During Juniper's analyst day in February, the company teased industry observers with what it described as its Stratus cloud computing fabric.

Juniper has remained hush on additional details surrounding Stratus since then, however.