Juniper Challenges Cisco With New Enterprise Routers - InformationWeek

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Juniper Challenges Cisco With New Enterprise Routers

Networking vendor rolls out its first series of products aimed at business customers.

Juniper Networks Inc. is rolling out a new family of enterprise routers and a network security device in a bid to expand its presence inside corporate networks and take a bite out of competitor Cisco's dominant market share.

The new routers announced Monday are known collectively as the J-Series. They include the J2300 Services Router, a fixed platform with one primary and one expansion slot that supports an 8-Mbps uplink; the J4300 Services Router, a modular platform with six open slots that supports a 16-Mbps uplink; and the J6300 Services Router, a modular platform with six open slots and the option for a redundant power supply that supports a 90-Mbps uplink.

The routers offer better stability than Cisco's since Juniper's Junos router-operating system allows different modules to operate independently, says Cathy Gadecki, solutions marketing manager for Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group. "One small bug in SMTP won't crash and bring down the whole system," she says. They also boast a "rescue configuration button," which allows nontechnical staff at a branch office to push a button on the device and roll it back into a safe configuration, eliminating the need for IT staff to visit a site to power-down and reconfigure troubled hardware. Starting prices for the J-series are in the range of $2,000 to $9,000; items will be available later this summer.

Juniper has increasingly been stealing market share from industry leader Cisco in the high-end router space, providing hardware to Internet service providers and telephone companies. The new routers are Juniper's first products designed for the enterprise, and squarely target best-selling Cisco routers, including the 1700, 2600, and 3700 series.

"Juniper's not a large threat in terms of dollars, but it is a threat in terms of strategic dominance," says Pacific Growth Equities analyst Erik Suppinger. Juniper's been making a name for itself by producing sophisticated IP products, and threatens to get a lot of attention in a market where Cisco has dominated mindshare as well as market share, he says.

Juniper also announced the new NetScreen-5GT ADSL security appliance for remote offices. The device provides security functions including firewall, IPSec VPN, denial of service protection, and antivirus capability. An integrated ASDL modem means that large enterprises need only deploy one device in remote offices instead of two, a detail that reduces operational costs and improves manageability, according to the company. Juniper acquired VPN and firewall vendor NetScreen Technologies in April.

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