Juniper moves into Net services arena

Summary:Juniper Networks, which historically has sold hardware, is branching into Internet-based services to customers. The high-flying networking company on Tuesday announced it will ship new technology that allows telecommunications service providers to offer more sophisticated services to business customers, such as virtual private network (VPN) services.

Juniper Networks, which historically has sold hardware, is branching into Internet-based services to customers.

The high-flying networking company on Tuesday announced it will ship new technology that allows telecommunications service providers to offer more sophisticated services to business customers, such as virtual private network (VPN) services. VPNs offer businesses inexpensive and secure high-speed connections to corporate networks over the Internet.

With the move, analysts say Juniper expands its list of competitors from Cisco Systems to include a raft of other networking companies that offer similar Internet-based services, including Nortel Networks, Lucent Technologies, and start-ups such as Ennovate and Cosign.

To offer the VPN services, Juniper on Tuesday released updated versions of its software that runs on its routers. The company also released new add-ons, or interfaces, for its networking hardware that allow service providers to offer businesses more options for high-speed Internet access, said Carl Showalter, Juniper's vice president of marketing.

Juniper has also released new software that allows service providers to give businesses priority over their use of network bandwidth, Showalter said. For example, to ensure good voice quality, phone calls over the Net can have more priority on a network than less important needs like e-mail, he said. --Wylie Wong, Special to ZDNet News

Topics: Networking, Cisco, Security, Start-Ups

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