Juniper Jumps on Managed Services

Overhauls its high-end SSL VPN box in an attempt to win a share of the lucrative managed security services pie

September 14, 2005

3 Min Read
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Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), with its eye on the lucrative market for managed security services, has overhauled its Secure Access (SA) 6000 device in an attempt to win service providers to its platform (see Juniper Extends Family).

In case you hadn't heard, denial-of-service attacks, spam, and viruses may be the stuff of nightmare for data center managers, but they are opening up a whole new world of opportunity for service providers, which see a chance to sell so-called "managed security services" to their own customers (see Pipe Cleaners).

Managed security services cover the likes of disaster recovery and securing voice over IP (VOIP) traffic. Last year, a Light Reading Insider report on managed services found that service providers, as the managers of global networks, are well positioned to have the widest understanding of global networking security threats (see Managed Security Services Pipe Up). A number of service providers, such as AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Equant (NYSE: ENT; Paris: EQU), are seeing solid growth in the managed services market.

With this in mind, Juniper has repackaged its two-rack-unit-high SA 6000 Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) device for the service provider market. This will be sold as the 6000 SP, and includes a new virtualization software called Instant Virtual System (IVS). According to the vendor, this can create 255 virtual SSL VPN gateways on a single device, which can then be used as the foundation for other security services.

A range of additional features, available only as upgrades on the SA 6000, are now fitted as standard on the 6000 SP. These include dual hot-swappable hard drives and power supplies, as well as an extra two gigabytes of memory, which brings the devices total memory up to four gigabytes.But Juniper is not the only security vendor looking to take advantage of the move towards managed services. Rival Array Networks Inc., for example, is already touting its own Array SP product around the managed services market and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is also looking to exploit specially tailored virtualization technology (see Array Names South American Partners and Cisco Unveils Security Appliances). Elsewhere, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) relies on Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) gateways to offer its own managed security service.

But Michael Suby, senior research analyst at Stratecast Partners warns that vendors expecting to make a fast buck on managed security services could be disappointed. “There’s multiple stages [that service providers go through] before deploying this technology,” he says. As well as drawn-out back-end integration, vendors should expect service providers to do some pretty strenuous testing. “They will bring it into their test centers and give it the old twice over,” he adds.

Global reach is another key factor for vendors looking to make it big in this market. SSL VPNs for managed services have so far proved most popular in the Asia/Pacific region and, secondly, Europe, according to Suby. “You need to have a good global presence,” he warns.

For its part, Juniper already has an established presence in the Asian market, which should boost its efforts to deploy its new SSL VPN (see KT Chooses Juniper , Juniper Works With Tsinghua University, and NTT East Deploys Juniper). As if to underline this point, the vendor today announced a managed services deal with Japanese service provider Hitachi Systems & Services Ltd. (see Hitachi Taps Juniper ).

So far, however, Juniper’s only publicly announced customer for its 6000 SP is CPCNet Hong Kong Ltd., although Vaishali Ghiya, the vendor’s senior product line manager, assures NDCF that others are in bag. “Rest assured, there are quite a few,” she says.— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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