Juniper Squares Off Against Cisco in the Branch

By Paula Musich Print this article Print

Juniper's branch office strategy calls for delivery of products that consolidate functions.

Juniper Networks in an uncharacteristic move on Oct. 30 previewed its branch office strategy that calls for delivery of products that consolidate functions over the next 18 to 24 months.

In jumping on the branch-in-a-box bandwagon, Juniper hopes to establish its presence in enterprise remote sites on the strength of its newer NetScreen Secure Services Gateway hardware platforms, advanced security and application acceleration technologies.

The three-phased strategy also calls for the integration of Avaya IP Telephony functions into new branch office platforms.

The platforms will consolidate multiple functions, similar to what rival Cisco Systems has done with its Integrated Services Routers. But they will provide better functional integration, asserted Chris Spain, senior director of enterprise products at Juniper in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Most of the branch-in-a-box appliances today are "pseudo-integrated devices that share sheet metal, power supply, fans, and they have lightweight integration and unacceptable performance when you turn on multiple functions," he said.

"The performance of the box degrades below where it is useful; you pay a premium; you're still managing two separate devices sharing a power supply and you still have separate user interfaces," he added.

Juniper swept the 11 new Secure Services Gateway security models it refreshed earlier in 2006 into the strategy. Those models have integrated branch routing and Unified Threat Management.

As a part of the strategy, Juniper also launched two new branch office routers, the J4350 and J6350 J-series enterprise routers, which are based on the SSG 500-series hardware and offer better performance when security services such as stateful firewall, Network Address Translation and IPSec VPN are turned on, Spain said.

To read more about the SSG 500-series platform, click here.

The new branch office routers run Juniper's modular JUNOS operating system, include four Gigabit Ethernet ports and can be expanded with other WAN or LAN modules, and provide up to two G-bps of performance.

Compared to existing Juniper J-Series 4300 and 6300 routers, they are four to five times faster. The 4350 offers optional hardware-based acceleration and that feature is standard with the 6350.

The routers, available now, start at $4000 for the 4350 and $10,500 for the 6350.

In the second phase of its strategy, Juniper intends to add new IP Telephony modules to the new routers based on Avaya's IG550 gateway and interface modules. Those are due in the first quarter of 2007.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Juniper Squares Off Against Cisco in the Branch.

This article was originally published on 2006-10-31
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