Juniper goes granular

Juniper Networks Inc., one of CDN’s top five companies to watch in 2007, has made its first major announcement of the year. The company is releasing for sale its ScreenOS 6.0 operating system for its Integrated Security Gateway and Secure Services Gateway firewall and VPN.

Sanjay Beri, director of product management for Juniper, said this offering will enable customers to granularly identify applications, whether it is Oracle financials or YouTube, at layer 7. By having a granular approach, the IT department can go a level deeper and identify users who are transferring files over instant messenger and be able to take action on it.

Juniper also unveiled new intrusion detection and prevention software that will be part of the initial offering.

“Customers are happy to have this kind of knowledge, but they also need to have control. Let’s say the Internet pipe is a scarce resource for me. I do not want more than 10 per cent of it to be used on non-critical applications. I want the 90 per cent of the bandwidth to be for critical business issues,” Bari said.

One of the advantages of the new Juniper offering is users will be able to keep current IT investment in place, according to Bari.

“You can use it on existing devices like a firewall or a router with free upgrades,” he added.

Citing recent industry studies, Bari said that 60 to 70 per cent of office traffic is with Google video, YouTube and downloading non-critical business applications on P2P Web sites.

“Even though employees are doing work and checking e-mail, the reality is that does not take up the kind of bandwidth that YouTube video does. Even if it is only a few, it is massive because if it comes during the end of your quarter and other staff needs access to financial applications it will have a serious drag on performance and it will have an effect on business,” Bari said.

Another potential risk comes from the mobile workforce. Bari said that there is a big trend happening in the mobile space where 80 per cent of employees do not work at company headquarters. Couple this with third party contractors and suppliers possibly using your network it can open a company up to threats.

“A vast percentage of the workforce is not working at headquarters. So there really isn’t one perimeter to protect anymore. There are 100 perimeters with direct access,” Bari said.

Juniper is partnering exclusively with the channel and managed service providers (MSP) with this offering. Bari believes that Juniper can empower the channel and MSPs who wish to offer its SMB and enterprise customers auditing type services.Bari was unable to provide any channel margin information.The Juniper new releases will be priced as low as $500 and has high at $100,000. Bari said this fits all markets.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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