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Juniper pieces together new network push

Juniper outlines its 'new network' vision and launches a package of networking products and partnerships aimed at a range of customers — from enterprises to service providers
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Juniper Networks has launched a raft of new software, processors and cloud networking systems for enterprises and service providers in a push towards open software platforms and fully programmable networks.

The networking company announced its new products on Thursday, alongside new partnerships with Dell and IBM that will see those hardware companies resell Juniper's networking gear. According to Juniper chief executive Kevin Johnson, the company is embracing a "new approach to networking," that meets the growing demand for internet-based services.

"Networks are now clearly the hub of business and community around the world, and that's driving massive scale requirements for the next decade," Johnson said in a statement. "Today is an historic day for Juniper, as we stand tall with our partners and customers to jumpstart the new network."

Juniper's new strategy and expanded portfolio successfully spans IT and networking, as well as service providers and enterprise customers, according to networking consultant Tom Nolle, president of Cimi, quoted in Juniper's announcement statement.

"There used to be a hard separation between IT and networking," Nolle said in Juniper's statement. "There used to be a hard separation between service provider and enterprise. Juniper has broken down all of these barriers with a solution set that can support private networks, managed services, and public carrier services with a single product family."

According to Gartner analyst Phil Dawson, Juniper's new partnerships reflect its need to join forces with other companies in terms of both products and channel strategy. "As the likes of Cisco move to non-networking infrastructure... then vendors like Juniper and Zeus are looking to partner with other systems vendors to compete in the combined space," he said.

Cisco in March unveiled its push to change the face of datacentres with its 'unified computing' push, which combines networking, computing and virtualisation resources into an end-to-end architecture. As part of this drive, it has begun offering server hardware and has brought out cloud-computing datacentre tools.

One of Thursday's key announcements was that of the open, cross-network Junos software platform, based on Juniper's router operating system. It was introduced alongside a new network application platform called Junos Space and an integrated network client called Junos Pulse.

The idea behind the new Junos platform, according to Jupiter, is to extend the intelligence of the Junos router operating system across the network and to endpoint devices, creating fully programmable networks.

A new family of processors, Junos One, has also been introduced to "meet the needs of networking at massive scale in multiple dimensions", the company said. The first product in the family is the Junos Trio chipset for service providers targeting business, residential and mobile markets.

According to the company, it has invested more than $80m (£48m) over the last five years in the development of Junos Trio. The fourth generation of Juniper's purpose-built silicon, Junos Trio introduces a new architecture called a "network instruction set", where customised network instructions are designed into silicon.

This approach combines the performance benefits of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) with the flexibility of network processing units (NPUs).

Juniper also announced new datacentre networking and security packages for enterprises and service providers that want to deliver cloud services on a massive scale. The company's Cloud-Ready Data Center initiative includes five modules of guidelines aimed at securing traffic inside and outside the cloud-ready datacentre.

Juniper's SRX Series service gateways are now scaled to support 10 million concurrent user sessions, the company said.

The company announced a reseller deal with Dell on Wednesday. On Thursday, the networking firm also expanded its existing relationship with IBM, which already resold a suite of Juniper's Ethernet networking products, but will now also resell its SRX Series gateway products.

Mark Bauhaus, Juniper's head of service layer technology business, said in a statement that the expansion of the partnership demonstrated the two companies' joint commitment to promoting an open, scalable dynamic infrastructure network.

Juniper also announced its first licensing of the Junos operating system on Thursday to Blade Network Technologies for the development of Junos-based blade server switches.

Under the terms of the agreement, Blade will be the exclusive global supplier of Junos-based blade server switches to server manufacturers. The products are intended to complement Blade's line of BladeOS-based server switches.

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