Juniper Lifts Curtain on Its WAN Plans

Juniper at Interop will break its silence and finally flesh out its vision for application acceleration with an 18-month road map.

Juniper Networks made it clear it wants to become a bigger player in the WAN optimization and application acceleration space when it bought Peribit Networks and Redline Networks in 2005, but its since said little to enterprise customers about its vision for those technologies.

That quiet ends the week of May 1 at Interop in Las Vegas, where Juniper will lay out an 18-month road map and introduce the next major release of the companys Central Management Software for the WX line of WAN optimization appliances.

Junipers articulation of its plans should help its enterprise ambitions. "When youre trying to get to 10,000 enterprise customers, you have to go public with your plans before you deliver a year ahead," said Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa, in Fremont, Calif.

The WX CMS 5.2 release acknowledges the markets evolution, now that enterprises are beginning to deploy hundreds of WAN optimization appliances and service providers are planning to add managed WAN optimization services.

"New folks are streaming into this market, and existing customers are scaling their deployments," said analyst Rob Whiteley, at Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass.

To accommodate both sets of customers, WX CMS 5.2 adds role-based views and access control via Microsofts Active Directory. WX CMS 5.2 also generates PDF reports that show executives how the WAN has been optimized.

Mike Journey, telehealth systems manager at General Communications, Alaskas largest communications provider, in Anchorage, likes the expanded user management for CMS. "They extended my ability to create user accounts for my clients and give them the access privileges that we need," Journey said.

In addition, Juniper plans to speed up SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)-encrypted flows to speed Web applications and add Web content caching at the branch as well as the data center. The company also plans a software-only client for the WX line to bring acceleration to individual users.

With the advent of larger deployments, several WAN optimization and application acceleration providers are also rolling out high-end hardware platforms at Interop. Citrix Systems, with its NetScaler appliance, has a new hardware platform that provides up to 6G bps of throughput and 8 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces that support 30,000 SSL transactions per second.

Also, Coyote Point Systems will unveil a new enterprise-class server load balancing and traffic management system that provides 20 Gigabit Ethernet ports and can handle 100,000 connections per second.