Juniper Reference Architecture Will Unite Enterprise Networks

The vendor's Unite platform will make it easier for the growing number of enterprises looking to make the move to cloud computing, officials say.

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Juniper Networks wants to make it easier for enterprises to embrace cloud computing environments.

The company on Sept. 29 is rolling out a new reference architecture that is based on Juniper's Junos networking software portfolio and includes an array of new and enhanced products, from Ethernet switches to routing products to management solutions.

Called Unite, the reference architecture also includes extensive security features to help protect customers as they continue their migration to the cloud. Unite is designed to give enterprises the tools they need to create a simple, highly programmable network platform that can be used throughout the business, from the enterprise data center to campus and branch networks, according to Juniper officials.

The common platform will support a range of devices and applications and will enable businesses to more easily link the resources they have in the data center, across the WAN and in private and public clouds. And there is no doubt that enterprises are looking to the cloud as the future of their computing models, according to Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of development and innovation at Juniper.

"Literally everything is moving to the cloud," Davidson wrote in a post on the company blog. "From public to private to hybrid, enterprises are adopting cloud technologies as their default operating model, making campus networks THE critical on-ramp to cloud-based applications deployed in private clouds, on premise data centers, or hosted remote locations."

In developing the Unite architecture, Juniper engineers had three goals, he wrote: make networks simple to manage, make them secure, and base them on Juniper's Open Convergence Framework, which gives customers access to best-of-breed third-party products—from vendors such as Aruba Networks, Aerohive Networks and Ruckus Wireless—in such areas as wireless LANs, unified communications (UC) and security.

"By providing a common, converged network spanning distributed locations, the cloud-enabled enterprise can recognize and support a diverse set of wired and wireless devices, applications, people and things, seamlessly and securely connecting them to services," Davidson wrote.

Junos Fusion Enterprise is a new open architecture based on the 802.1BR standard that will enable customers to collapse multiple networking layers into one, managing and configuring their entire distributed network as a single infrastructure, according to Juniper officials. Juniper also is enhancing its Junos Space Network Director to enable users to manage one or more Junos Fusion Enterprise fabric groups for greater control and automation through the distributed network.

In addition, the networking vendor is adding new modular line cards to its EX9200 programmable Ethernet switch that offer customers more deployment options, including Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE connectivity.

Also as part of unit, Juniper is offering an anti-malware cloud service and other security capabilities that will enable customers to be more proactive in dealing with the myriad cyber-threats that are arising as the attack surface rapidly grows due to such trends as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the Internet of things (IoT).

"Traditional security solutions are not enough with today's fast-paced world where there is no time to sacrifice performance or disrupt operations," Davidson said in a statement.

Among the security offerings is Sky Advanced Threat Prevention, which automatically screens all downloads and applications before allowing them to enter the network by employing a sandbox environment to catch malware. The service will be available in free and premium versions, with both offering a range of anti-malware techniques and static and dynamic sandbox analysis. The premium version also quarantines infected hosts and doesn't allow communication with command-and-control servers.

Juniper engineers also enhanced the Junos Space Security Director security management platform to enable enterprises to centrally manage security throughout the network. Customers can design their own dashboards, and will have greater visibility into the network, including seeing which applications users are working with and which threats have been detected. They also will see a list of suggested remediation actions they can take in the case of a security issue.

Juniper's new SRX Series services gateways offer such capabilities as virtual private networks (VPNs) and next-generation firewalls. The SRX300 gateway is aimed at branch and small offices, while the SRX1500 includes a virtualized architecture for greater programmability for larger enterprise branches or smaller enterprise campuses. Juniper's vSRX virtual firewall, which has feature parity with SRX Series hardware, now has four times the performance due to a redesign of its software.