Juniper Wraps Security Services Into JUNOS


On Monday, Juniper Networks took JUNOS one step further, announcing that it is now wrapping the security services typically found in its ScreenOS operating system into JUNOS, meaning ScreenOS firewall, IPsec VPN, NAT, DOS and D-DOS capabilities will run on top of JUNOS software. ScreenOS stemmed from Juniper's NetScreen acquisition.

Michael Frendo, Juniper's senior vice president of high-end security systems, said integrating security services into the vendor's line of J-Series services routers, with integration with EX switches to follow, solidifies Juniper's vision of "fast, reliable and secure networking."

Brian Lazear, director of product management for Juniper's high-end security systems, echoed that, adding that tying routing, switching and security services with JUNOS 9.0 as the foundation breaks down management barriers.

The converged operating system, Lazear said, in no way signifies that ScreenOS will go anywhere anytime soon, but that ScreenOS's main features will run atop JUNOS.

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"It's a migration from a different operating environment to JUNOS," he said.

Initially, JUNOS with security services will run on the J-Series services routers. Lazear said turning on security services at the routing level will not degrade performance and adding the services will require a simple upgrade to the J-Series platform.

"It creates common DNA across the products," he said, adding that security services will run on the J2320, J2350, J4350 and J6350 series of routers.

For VARs, that creates a simpler management environment, allowing them to master one operating system as opposed to two, boosting their level of expertise and reducing installation and configuration times.

"We're making their environment simpler," Lazear said. "It lets them do more and do it more quickly."

Lazear admitted, however, that there are some challenges ahead for the channel and Juniper will work to get them up to snuff with leveraging JUNOS as the one all-encompassing OS.

Frendo added that VARs can pitch their customers the single OS as a strong convergence tool to aid in the transition to converged networks and can also offer the real-time threat mitigation offered by ScreenOS in a single place.

Daniel Morgan, director of sales for Archer Technology Group, a Bakersfield, Calif.-based solution provider, said the addition of security services to the most recent JUNOS update was an expected and welcomed change.

"I don't think this was a surprise," he said. "We've all been waiting for this to occur."

Morgan said a single OS gives Juniper a strong competitive advantage over Cisco Systems, which is often chided for its complexity and the varying operating systems needed to manage large deployments. JUNOS, he said, has gained a great deal of trust from customers, creating an advantage.

"We feel like we can leverage JUNOS, it's a foundation that's built a lot of trust," he said. "To be able to manage all of these devices across a single OS simplifying a complex industry."

Archer Technology Group is both a Juniper and Cisco partner, Morgan said, but he noted that he's seen Cisco market share slide a bit. He said he believes Cisco doesn't offer the level of interoperability and open standards that Juniper brings to market with JUNOS, scaring off some customers.

"In this market we've seen the backlash from a customer perspective because of that," he said. "It can be a mess just managing one vendor's operating system."

And the addition of security services to JUNOS, Morgan added, can help Archer get into markets and areas it may not have been able to before.

"We're going to be able to leverage what people like about JUNOS and Juniper in different markets," he said. Morgan also noted that Juniper adheres to a strong release calendar for JUNOS updates, letting him prepare for new services and upgrades that come down the pike.

"You can set your watch to their release schedule," he said. "It's nice to know what I'm going to get and be able to plan for that."

According to Jon Olstik, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, a single-source operating system can translate to lower management and maintenance costs for both VARs and end customers.

"Enterprise infrastructures are often inundated by multiple, inconsistent versions and releases of network operating systems, which can result in unpredictable security and performance as new features are enabled on the network," Olstik said. "Running a single-source operating system across a high-performance network infrastructure enables faster innovation by providing network administrators with the confidence to quickly turn on new network features without compromising network performance, stability and security. A common operating system across the enterprise network infrastructure can further reduce administrative, training and management costs, which translates into lower cost of ownership."