Juniper takes on Cisco, HP in ‘simple’ networking

Juniper this week unveiled a portfolio of switching, wireless and security products designed to enable enterprises to easily deploy them and then ensure management and security of all connected mobile devices.

The range of products fall under Juniper’s new “Simply Connected” umbrella. They include three Ethernet access switches, a wireless LAN controller, and enhanced security software for mobile devices running Apple iOS and Google Android, the company said.

Juniper’s launch is intended to address the growth of wireless devices accessing corporate data on enterprise networks, representatives said. Workers tend to use a mobile device of their choosing, which creates management and security challenges for IT departments.

Simply Connected is designed to allow enterprises to connect workers’ device of choice while maintaining consistent security and reliability, according to Juniper.

The company is not alone in addressing this need – indeed, it follows similar launches from Cisco, HP and Extreme Networks. Juniper faces an uphill battle though, being a relatively new entrant to the enterprise networking market compared to those three.

“This is still a net new market for Juniper,” says Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. “But there’s a lot of business out there, the enterprise campus networks are changing, and people are willing to open up to a new vendor when the network is changing.”

Juniper hopes its three new switches turn heads. They include the EX6200, EX3300 and EX2200-C.

According to Juniper, the 6200 is a modular, chassis-based system with 10 slots for holding Switch Fabric Routing Engine (SRE) modules and I/O line cards. Two of the slots carry the SREs while the remaining eight house the line cards.

Two EX6200 48-port 10/1000/1000BASE-T line cards are available, with and without support for the IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard, Juniper said. The PoE line card also supports the IEEE 802.3at PoE+ standard, which delivers up to 30 watts of power per port for devices that require more than the 15.4 watts provided by PoE.

A single 14RU EX6200 chassis can support up to 432 PoE+ ports, Juniper said.

Juniper said that the EX3300 supports 24 and 48 10/100/1000-T access ports and four dual mode (GbE/10GbE) SFP/SFP+ uplink ports, with or without support for PoE. The EX3300 also supports the 802.3at PoE+ standard, offering additional power for devices such as multiple radio IEEE 802.11n wireless access points.

The EX3300 also supports Juniper’s Virtual Chassis technology, which allows users to interconnect up to six EX3300 switches into a single logical device so they can be managed as one, sources said.

The 1RU EX2200 line comes in two configurations, the company said. The EX2200 includes both 24 and 48 10/100/1000BASE-T port models that also include four fixed front panel Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports for backbone or link aggregation connections between wiring closets or upstream aggregation switches.

The EX2200-C features 12 10/100/1000BASE-T access ports in a fanless design, and is targeted at office, classroom, hospitality, and other space- and wiring-constrained environments. Two front panel dual-purpose 10/100/1000BASE-T or 100/1000BASE-X uplinks are also supported, Juniper reported.

EX2200 and EX2200-C models are available with or without PoE. The switches also support PoE+.

All of the new switches run Juniper’s JUNOS operating system. The EX6200 will be shipping in October. Pricing starts at $35,000 for 96-port system, and each 48-port card costs: $5,500, or $8,000 for PoE+.

The EX3300 and 2200-C are available now. The EX2200-C starts at $1,295 and $1,895 for PoE+; the EX3300 starts at $4,500, and up to $8,800 for 48 ports with PoE+.

For wireless LANs, Juniper unveiled the WLC880 Wireless LAN Controller. The WLC880, borne of Juniper’s acquisition of Trapeze Networks, is targeted at midsize to large sites with branch offices. It supports up to 256 access points and includes spectrum management software to help ensure over the air reliability on mainstream 802.11n access points, and provides spectrum planning capability.

The WLC880 will be available in October.

Lastly, Juniper rolled out Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite 3.0, software designed to provide centralised management, secure network access, anti-malware and anti-theft capabilities for a range of mobile devices.

According to the company, release 3.0 adds the ability for enterprises and service providers with Apple iPhones, iPod touch and iPads to remotely lock and wipe lost or stolen devices, set and enforce security and passcode policies, provision and remove Microsoft Exchange profiles, provision VPN and Wi-Fi settings, inventory device applications and restrict specific apps for iOS devices.

Also, Release 3.0 supports Layer 3 SSL VPN as well as automatic application revocation and malware removal without user interaction, for Google Android-based smartphones and tablets, sources added.

“Juniper may have a leg up on HP with this software as HP can respond with a mobile client security package like this,” Oltsik says. Juniper’s software will face stiff competition though from Cisco’s AnyConnect and TrustSec software, and Identity Services Engine.

The challenge for Juniper, according to Oltsik, will be in weaving Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite into the large infrastructure management realm.

“How do they work with the rest of the infrastructure?” Oltsik asks. “Do people want a discrete solutions for mobile devices or an integrated one?”

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