Juniper Combines Security, Routing

Available now to Juniper&'s security-authorized channel partners, the new box was purpose-built as a security appliance at heart, not as a networking device with added security features, said Hitesh Sheth, vice president of security products at Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif. It runs on Juniper&'s security-focused ScreenOS operating system but uses optional WAN cards from Juniper&'s J-series line of access routers built on its JUNOS modular networking operating system, he said.

A variety of branch-office trends, including increasing bandwidth needs, direct connectivity to the Internet, wireless networking and the ever-increasing amount of security threats such as viruses and Trojans, all have “really changed the profile of what kind of security processing horsepower you need in the branch,” Sheth said.

The Secure Services Gateway line includes two models, the 520 and the 550, and provides up to 1-Gbps firewall throughput and 500-Mbps throughput for IPsec VPN. Integrated antivirus, antispam, Web filtering and intrusion-prevention capabilities are slated for rollout in the second half of this year. Solution providers said the Juniper appliance squarely targets products from rival Cisco Systems such as Cisco&'s Integrated Services Routers and Adaptive Security Appliances.

“This is a really good counterargument to what Cisco has put out in the market,” said Steve Fuller, president and CTO of Networks Group, a Brighton, Mich., solution provider.

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The new appliance also gives Juniper another entry point into the enterprise router market it has been trying to penetrate since last year, though customers in the past have shown reluctance to add WAN connectivity to their security devices, Fuller said.

Pricing for the SSG 520 and 550 platforms starts at $6,000 and $10,000, respectively. The devices include four built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports and six expansion slots for modular T1/E1, DS3, serial and copper or fiber Gigabit connection options.