Juniper Touts New Kit To Meet Mobile Challenge

Juniper’s new switches help ease admin burden of integrating smartphones into corporate network

Juniper Networks has launches a new range of switches and security software to help ease the problem posed when staff access the corporate network with a growing number of smartphones and tablets.

Juniper’s new offerings – including three new Ethernet switches, a new wireless LAN controller and new mobile security software for Apple iOS- and Google Android-based devices – are being offered under the vendor’s “Simply Connected” networking umbrella.

Admin Burden

The products are designed to make it easier for enterprise IT administrators to deal with the influx of mobile devices being brought into work by employees looking to access the applications and data on the corporate network. The days of IT administrators giving employees business-issued mobile devices to access the network is over, according to Dhritiman Dasgupta, director of product marketing for Juniper’s data center and LAN team.

“Today, you can’t do that anymore,” Dasgupta said in an interview with eWEEK.

In a trend dubbed BYOD – or bring your own device – employees are now coming to work with their personal smartphones and tablets looking to get access to the network, causing a lot of management and security headaches for IT staffs. The trend is putting tremendous pressure on enterprise IT staffs to find a way to enable wider access while keeping the network secure and manageable. That pressure is only increasing as C-level executives also want to use their iPads and smartphones, Dasgupta said.

Other network vendors, including Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, also are working to provide enterprises with the tools needed to address the BYOD trend. For example, Cisco offers its Identity Service Engine for both wired and wireless networks to enable businesses to track “visitors” to their corporate networks. HP enables both wired and wireless access through its Mobile Access Solution products.

New Switches

Included in the Simply Connected portfolio, which was introduced 28 September, are three new Ethernet switches. Two of the switches – the EX3300 and the EX2200-C – are available immediately. The EX3300 is a compact and scalable offering for converged networking environments. It offers 24 and 48 10/100/1000-T access ports, and supports the 802.2 Power Over Ethernet+ (PoE+) standard. The switches also utilise Juniper’s Virtual Chassis offering, enabling enterprises to manage up to six of the switches as though they were a single switch.

The EX2200-C Ethernet switch, which is aimed at smaller environments – micro branches, conference rooms and classrooms – is a compact switch.

The third switch, the EX6200 switch, which has 10 slots for Switch Fabric Route Engine modules and I/O line cards, will ship in the fourth quarter.

Security Software

In addition, Juniper is offering the WLC880 Wireless LAN controller, aimed at mainstream wireless deployments in midsize and large sites. It supports up to 256 access points and brings new software capabilities, including Juniper’s Networks Spectrum Management. It supports 802.11n access points.

Juniper also is rolling out the Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite, which offers an integrated and centrally managed solution that addresses security around network access, anti-malware, anti-theft and remote management for a wide range of mobile devices.

The software enables enterprises to manage Apple iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, including remote locking and wiping lost or stolen devices; setting and enforcing security and pass-code policies; provisioning VPN and WiFi settings; and inventorying device applications. It also enables them to provision and remove Microsoft Exchange profiles and restrict specific apps for iOS devices.

There also is full Layer 3 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN, automatic app revocation and malware removal for certain smartphones and tablets running Google’s Android mobile OS.

“Each of these products work well,” Dasgupta said. “When they’re put together, they can do fabulous things.”

He said Juniper is utilising a number of advantages it has over its larger rivals – in particular, Cisco and HP – including the common Junos operating system and partnerships with the likes of Dell and IBM.