Juniper, Cisco Heat up SSL VPN Space

The SSL VPN market heated up this week with the Juniper Networks release of a new managed and virtualized platform for service providers. But it’s not the only company vying for a piece.

Juniper’s competitor Cisco Systems is also in the market with a similar solution set to capitalize on the
explosive demand for SSL VPN services.

Juniper’s new Secure Access (SA) 6000 SP SSL VPN appliance is a carrier-class solution that includes full virtualization capabilities enabling
service providers to provision a variety of services. Those services include
the typical gambit of SSL VPN abilities of remote access, security, wireless
access and even Voice over IP .

The virtualization system is something that Juniper calls the Instant
Virtual System (IVS) and provides access management, network and
application layer virtualization.

Juniper claims that the SA 6000 SP can
offer 255 virtual SSL VPN gateways on a single appliance. Multiple SA 6000
SPs can also be clustered to expand scalability and availability.

The IVS software separates traffic and customers, allowing the
service provider to set individual network management policies based on the
customer. Juniper has also included detailed logging and auditing
capabilities to ensure compliance with government regulations, such as

Vivian Ganitsky, director of product management at Juniper, explained that
the solution offers benefits to both carriers and end users.

“As SSL VPN technology has matured and entered the mainstream many of the
SME customers also want to benefit and many times its easier for them to
outsource to a service provider than do it in-house,” Ganitsky told

Juniper claimed that the solution was an industry first; however, its
competitor Cisco system apparently has a similar solution in the market, as well.

“While Cisco can’t comment specifically about competitor claims, what we
can say is Cisco does offer an SSL VPN solution targeted at large-scale
enterprises and service providers,” Cisco spokesperson Amy Hughes told

Cisco’s solution is called the WebVPN Services Module and was launched at
the beginning of June. Like Juniper’s solution, WebVPN Services Module enables, “multiple, logical SSL VPN
gateways with each having its own policy and management support.”

“This is an unprecedented offering; we are the first in the SSL VPN
industry to offer end to end virtualization in an appliance form factor,”
Vaishali Ghiya, senior product line manager at Juniper, explained. “It’s unmatched because many
times [competitors] provide basic network layer virtualization like VLAN
tagging and also on top of that Juniper’s feature set is much more

Regardless of who was first with what, the SSL VPN market is growing,
with a number of different analyst firms projecting growth for the

According to data from Infonetics cited by Juniper, 74 percent of
enterprises polled expect to deploy SSL VPN, up from 35 percent in 2004.

Data Monitor stats cited by Juniper show a 39 percent compound annual growth
rate in the SSL VPN managed services market for 2005 growing to 61 percent
by 2008.

Synergy Research Group recently
reported that for the second quarter of 2005, SSL VPN sales were up by almost 40 percent on a year-over-year basis and by 11 percent on a quarterly basis.

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