Juniper Starts a New Family

Sometimes having only one box to handle both routing and security is better
than two, or at least that’s the contention of Juniper Networks.

Juniper Networks, which today is celebrating 10 years of existence, is
adding a new member to its product family: an integrated secure services
gateway appliance that combines enterprise-grade routing, WAN access,
firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, antivirus and anti-spam into a single

The new Juniper Secure Services Gateway (SSG) 500 Series appliances take
aim at a market segment that could be worth as much as $4 billion according
to Juniper. The new products are also squarely aimed at taking share from
Cisco Systems.

Chris Spain, senior director of product management at Juniper, explained
that the SSG 500 series is not made of routers with security bolted on.

“It’s a security platform that very tightly integrates Juniper’s
networking, firewall, VPN and IPS and then technology from best-in-class
partners for filtering antivirus and anti-spam,” Spain said.

The new appliances also boast “drastically improved” performance over
what Spain classified as their logical predecessors from a routing point of

SSG 500 is intended for branch
office deployment, which is where Spain noted that Juniper sees increasing
numbers of employees residing.

Security and routing responsibilities are
not always the same and hence the SSG 500 series includes role-based
administration, which provides permission-based control of the appliance’s

IPsec is the VPN connection technology that is currently
deployed on the SSG 500 series.

Juniper’s well-regarded SSL-VPN technology is not part of
the solution.

Spain noted that SSL-VPN is typically a remote-access
technology that would be utilized in a headquarter location. IPsec is more
of a branch-to-headquarters connection, which is what the SSG 500 series is
all about.

Spain explained that today most enterprises will need to deploy multiple
appliances in order to meet their routing and security needs. A case in
point that he raised was Juniper’s competitor, Cisco Systems and its ASA
5520/5540 and ISR 2851/3845.

Both the ASA and the ISRs, Spain argued, would
be required in tandem to perform the same routing and security feature that
Juniper’s new SSG-500 series provides.

Cisco spokesperson Amy Hughes told that Cisco doesn’t
comment specifically on competitive announcements. That said, Cisco does
believe that its solution is meeting customer needs admirably.

According to Hughes, Cisco’s ASA 5500 and integrated services router
families provides customers with a wide array of choices depending on their

“Therefore, customers do not have to deploy a solution from each family
in order to receive a very rich set of capabilities,” Hughes explained. “For
example, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series provides the richest suite of security
services including Firewall, a full implementation of IPS services as well
as VPN services.”

“No other solution can address the broad requirements of an integrated
solution that would require numerous devices from any other vendor,” Hughes

Juniper’s Spain however contends that the Juniper SSG 500 series offers
higher performance and more security integration than Cisco and at a cheaper
price to boot. As is typical in the industry, Juniper has ongoing
competitive upgrade programs in place targeting users to migrate.

The opportunity as a whole presented by an integrated security router device
is not insignificant.

“You take the union of those markets being the access router market, the
security router market and the low-end, mid-range firewall and that’s about $4
billion of opportunity that we can chase with this product,” Spain said. “In the
past we only had the security appliance to chase this market.”

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