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Juniper Jumps on Network Security

Juniper Networks today unveiled its new Infranet Controller devices, the core component of its Enterprise Infranet strategy to bolster network security.

Launched earlier this year, the Enterprise Infranet is an offshoot of Junipers carrier plan, the Infranet Initiative, and is head-to-head with Cisco Systems' Network Admission Control (NAC) strategy. (See Juniper Intros Enterprise Infranet, Juniper's Infranet Takes Baby Steps, and Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative.)

The Infranet Controllers are the heart and lungs of the Enterprise Infranet. They use an SSL VPN-based policy engine to provision software agents on devices such as PCs and laptops. This agent then helps enforce centrally managed security policies, such as preventing non-compliant PCs from connecting to the network.

According to Juniper, the 1U 4000 device can support up to 3,000 concurrent endpoints, or devices, whereas the 2U 6000 box can handle up to 25,000, although these figures are based on internal testing. But Andrew Harding, Juniper’s director of product management, tells NDCF that, if anything, these numbers are on the conservative side. “At 25,000 users the box isn’t even sweating,” he boasts.

The idea is that users can lock down large chunks of their corporate infrastructure in one fell swoop. Harding tells NDCF that the controllers are based on policy engine technology from Neoteris, which was acquired by NetScreen in 2003. NetScreen was then snapped up by Juniper. (See NetScreen Snags SSL Leader and Juniper/NetScreen Merger OK'd.)

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