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Juniper Networks made a series of announcements Thursday on both the security and software-defined networking fronts, rolling out a new line of SRX security cards for LTE networks, along with a host of new SDN applications aimed at helping mobile operators better provision their services and handle the growing number of smartphones tapping into their networks.
Firstly, Juniper unveiled new line cards for its SRX5600 and 5800 series services gateways it says will allow service providers to better secure and scale their next-generation LTE or 4G networks. According to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, the new line cards are meant to tackle the increasing number of mobile devices tapping into LTE networks by supporting up to 100 million concurrent sessions and up to 200 Gbps of firewall throughput.
"That's really important to service providers who are adding smartphone subscribers," said Johnnie Konstantas, director of product marketing for Juniper's Security Business Unit. "Smartphone and data plans are being added at a very rapid clip," Konstantas continued, citing an Ericsson study that projected a 12-fold increase in mobile device data traffic by 2018.
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The new SRX line cards were also developed to be aware of mobile-specific protocols, such as LTE-SCTP, meaning they know to block the growing number of malware attacks that are leveraging or embedded in these industry protocols.
Konstantas also stressed the convenience of mobile operators being able to implement Juniper's new SRX series line cards with minimal system downtime or service disruptions.
"The unique thing about these cards is that we built them so that you could have no downtime in service, software or hardware upgrades," Konstantas said. "So let's say you are a mobile service provider and have our SRX services in play. You get these new cards, you plug them in and they just work. Literally in a matter of milliseconds you see that you have more performance available to you ... and you didn’t require any distribution in the service."
Juniper's new line cards are compatible with current cards and chassis, meaning existing customers can use the same SRX 500 series chassis they have in place but leverage these new cards for an instant boost in performance.
For Juniper partners, Konstantas said, this presents an opportunity to both target new customers and re-visit existing ones with the cards.
"Any reseller that already sells Junipers products and has sold some of these firewalls can go back to any existing customer and say, 'Here are cards that can not only be popped in to give you more performance, but they're compatible with the cards you already have,'" Konstantas said. "It's a very easy upgrade path from a reseller perspective."