Juniper unites the enterprise

New architecture, software, security wares bring cloud fabric to campus

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Juniper Networks this week unveiled a reference architecture for enterprise networks intended to assist in the transition to cloud computing.

Called Unite, the architecture is embodied in the company’s Junos operating system software and encompasses a handful of new and existing Juniper products. They include the EX9200 switch, the Junos Space Network Director management system, and third party products integrated through Juniper’s Open Converged Framework.

Unite is intended to enable enterprises to build private clouds and then interconnect them to public cloud infrastructures in a hybrid environment for application access and delivery. At the heart of it is Junos Fusion Enterprise, Junos software designed to provide a single point of network configuration and management for the enterprise network. Junos Fusion Enterprise allows customers to collapse multiple network layers into a single enterprise cloud, Juniper says.

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The software runs on the Junos OS image on an EX9200 switch. It supports the IEEE 802.1BR Bridge Port Extension standard for extending a bridge and its management beyond its physical enclosure and into a single-tier architecture.

This is the same software technology Juniper uses on its new QFX10000 data center switches – also called Junos Fusion -- and Cisco uses for their Nexus switch fabric extenders. Juniper employs a similar bridge extension technique on its earlier generation QFabric node/director product line to create the logical single layer topology.

Juniper says existing EX switches no older than three years old can participate in the Unite and Junos Fusion Enterprise architectures.

Also included in the Unite architecture are Juniper’s SRX series services gateway security products and cloud-based security service. These provide the interconnection between the private, on-premises cloud and the public cloud for hybrid cloud deployments.

Juniper’s cloud-based threat detection and prevention system, Sky Advanced Threat Prevention, screens all applications and downloads prior to allowing them to enter the network to protect against malware. It includes free and premium versions for SRX users under a maintenance contract: the free version includes antivirus analysis, as well as static and dynamic sandbox analysis; the premium version is available for a subscription fee and also quarantines infected hosts and blocks communication with malware command and control servers.

Juniper also added two new SRX gateways to its firewall lineup to extend Unite deeper into the enterprise. The SRX300 is designed for branch small office locations, and the SRX1500 is aimed at larger enterprise branches and smaller enterprise campuses.

For management of the Unite architecture, Juniper’s Junos Space Network Director allows users to manage one or more Junos Fusion Enterprise fabric groups, including lifecycle management of cloud applications and VMs. Network Director also provides orchestration and automation of common routines, Juniper says.

On the firewall side, Juniper enhanced its Junos Space Security Director management system with increased visibility and control over workflows. Users can now see which users are using which applications, which threats have been detected, and a list of suggested actions for remediation.

Third party integration through the Open Converged Framework currently includes wireless LAN interoperability with gear from Aerohive Networks, Aruba Networks and Ruckus Wireless. Juniper announced recent deals with Aerohive and Ruckus after HP announced intentions to acquire Aruba, with which Juniper had an existing partnership.

Separately, Juniper this week announced that British Airways is using Juniper fabric technology for its private cloud

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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