Juniper introduces new SSG routers to protect branch offices

* Nine new models of Juniper's secure services gateway routers geared toward protecting branch offices

Juniper is announcing nine new models of its secure services gateway (SSG) routers, scaled down to protect branch offices.

The new models are based on three basic chassis - the SSG 5, SSG 20 and SSG 140 - with variations in WAN ports and options to include wireless access points, accounting for the nine different models.

The smallest model, SSG 5, supports a 160Mbps firewall and 40Mbps VPN, certainly fast enough for a small office. In addition, for annual license fees it can support software that screens for viruses, spam, unauthorized Web content and intrusions.

The largest new model, SSG 140, has a 350Mbps firewall and a 100Mbps VPN, which is much faster, though it's still slower than the earlier SSG versions that have a top firewall speed of 1Gbps and top VPN speed of 500Mbps.

One of the important features of these devices is the variety of WAN ports available, from dial-up modem to ISDN to DSL T-1 to serial ports. This means they can be deployed at virtually any size office with any available connection to the Internet.

This goes back to Juniper's assertion, when it first announced SSGs earlier this year, that smaller offices will be getting their own direct Internet connections and therefore need comprehensive security on site. Traditionally, most branch offices connect to central sites via a private network and Internet traffic is routed through the central site's Internet connection using centralized security.

Putting security at smaller offices means costs, and Juniper seems to have this in mind. The SSG 5, for instance, costs $700 for the base model with just firewall and VPN and unlimited users. By comparison, the company's small office firewall/VPN appliance, called 5GT, costs $570 for a 10-user model and has no option for other security features.

Clearly the company is trying to transition customers from the GTs to the SSGs, and for customers that need to beef up branch security, it might be worth considering.


Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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