Juniper Uses the Cloud to Ease Branch Office Network Woes
The vendor's Cloud-Enabled Branch brings together such network functions as SD-WAN, routing and next-generation firewalls into a single appliance.Network connectivity and security continue to be challenges in branch offices, and Juniper Network officials are looking to the cloud to help solve them. The company has unveiled its Cloud-Enabled Branch initiative that brings together an array of capabilities—from software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and routing to security features like next-generation firewall functionality—into what officials call a "networking server" that also can support third-party software that can run on the x86 architecture. The NFX Series Network Service Platform is the server that includes networking interfaces that pull together the functions of multiple appliances onto a single device, and comes with zero-touch provisioning capabilities that enable enterprises to rapidly deploy new branches in a matter of minutes rather than days, according to Mike Marcellin, chief marketing officer at Juniper. In addition, Juniper's SRX and vSRX Series services gateways can implement a range of security capabilities, from unified threat management services and next-generation firewalls to dynamic threat defense and intelligence. Security features also come through Juniper's Sky Advanced Prevention, Spotlight Secure and Junos Space Security Director technologies.
The Cloud-Enabled Branch—part of the vendor's Unite enterprise cloud architecture, which was announced last year—is designed to address the need to reduce the complexity of branch networks through automation and the cloud while addressing security concerns. In a post on the company blog, Marcellin noted that human error accounts for 52 percent of security breaches in enterprise networks, due to the complexity of those networks and manual processes needed to manage them, and the fact that many employees download and run applications that aren't sanctioned by their companies and might expose the networks to exploits and vulnerabilities.