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Microsoft, Juniper To Build NAC Interoperability Bridge

Juniper Networks and Microsoft on Monday are slated to unveil a plan to build interoperability between their network access control technologies.

Interoperability between Juniper's Unified Access Control (UAC) and Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) technologies is expected to be available in products in the first half of 2008, and it's built into Windows Vista, said Steve Hannah, a distinguished engineer at Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif., and co-chair of the Trusted Network Connect subgroup at the Trusted Computing Group (TCG).

Juniper has built UAC around the TCG's Trusted Network Connect initiative and will continue to support the group's efforts. Microsoft has submitted NAP's Statement of Health client/server protocol to the TCG, which adopted it and made it a new Trusted Network Connect standard, Hannah said.

The interoperability will enable organizations to integrate a Juniper Infranet Controller in an environment with Microsoft Network Policy Server, which can be set up to manage Microsoft VPNs, according to Hannah.

"This will allow Juniper partners to interoperate with and participate in Microsoft NAP networks. They're able to participate and work with all the other vendors, and have choice of number of infrastructure devices that can be implemented on the network," said Hannah.

Hannah said he expects other TCG vendors to follow Juniper's lead by making their products interoperate with NAP, but Juniper was able to move first because of pre-existing technology partnerships between the two companies.

"There is a special relationship between Microsoft and Juniper in terms of how our interoperability works, such as some technologies that we cross-licensed," he said.

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