Juniper Looks To Next Level E-Learning With Junosphere Classroom


The goal, said Judy Beningson, vice president and general manager, Virtual Junos Business Unit, is to make traditional networking education less expensive, less time-consuming and less resource-dependent. Rather than merely model how a Junos-bred network architecture might function using lab time and equipment, users of Junosphere Classroom can run actual protocols and security paradigms a network would use, and do those things using a virtual, Junos-based network.

Juniper hosts Junosphere Classroom, and students access the modeling tools via a secure Internet connection. The hope, said Beningson, is that the e-learning model is more instructive -- students get to model using virtual network architecture instead of approximate how a network might look and function.

"We talk about network modeling, but this isn't the same as modeling," Beningson said. "It's about creating a real network that just happens to be in a cloud. It's kind of a model, because it's not your physical equipment, but you're actually running routing protocols."

It'll be a useful tool for Juniper solution providers, Beningson said, because they can tie it in with a professional services or training package for customers. Many solution providers also sell or develop Junos-ready applications, and the Classroom gives them an additional platform to test and demonstrate those applications for customers.

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"A partner might have a unique application to run inside Junos that gets at what a customer wants," Beningson said. "That's a very sticky solution because it's not something you can buy off the shelf."

Junosphere Classroom is available as a standalone offering and will also be provided through Juniper's Academic Alliance and Authorized Education Partner programs. Juniper has priced use of the Classroom at a fee of $5 per day per virtual machine used, Beningson said.

Classroom is the first release from Virtual Junos, a business unit within Juniper's Application Software Group that was formed last September. Beningson, who runs the group, reports to Manoj Leelanivas, executive vice president of the Application Software Group, and said to expect more offerings from Virtual Junos later this year.