Juniper Updates Networking for Military Deployments

The U.S armed forces needs networking gear and, while some of it can be the same as what civilians use, there are also specialized needs that Juniper says it's ready to fulfill with systems that may also find a place in the enterprise.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 16, 2010
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Networking is a mission critical element for many different types of IT enterprises, especially so when it comes to military deployments where the safety and security of an entire nation could be on the line.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) is aiming to help the U.S. military with its networking requirements with a new hardened router for military deployments. The networking company is no stranger to the U.S. military; for example, just this week it announced a big win powering the JFCOM Next-Generation Joint Training and Experimentation Network (NextGen JTEN). NextGen JTEN delivers up to 30,000 video and battle simulation streams to U.S. military users around the globe.

"The U.S. military represents a fast-growing customer base within Juniper -- a market we serve through partnerships with leading systems integrators," Bob Fortna, vice president of Juniper Network's Defense group, told InternetNews.com. Fortna noted that Juniper has also been selected by a leading integrator to provide edge and core IP/MPLS routers for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

From a hardware perspective the NextGen JTEN will now be using MX240 Ethernet Services Routers, EX4200 switches and the ISG 2000 integrated services gateway.

As to why the military chose the ISG 2000 platform as opposed to Juniper's new SRX services gateways, it's a question of certification.

"The ISG Series had the required government (FIPS 140-2) security certifications in place at the time of acquisition," Fortna said.

With the JTEN build out, Fortna said that Juniper is replacing legacy networking products from another supplier, and significantly extending JTEN capabilities. He added that the bid for the military contract was a competitive one which involved other networking vendors.

"We believe our approach was selected based on our exceeding JFCOM’s feature and performance requirements, including the performance of our MX Series routers and the ease-of-use and operational advantages offered by our Junos operating system," he said.

A new, rugged, outdoor router

Juniper this week also announced a new router specifically built for rugged outdoor need that would be attractive for the military. According to Juniper, the LN1000 provides radio router protocol support and includes an integrated intrusion detection and prevention system. From a performance perspective the LN1000 can support up to 9,000 connections per second and 128,000 concurrent sessions.

"The LN1000 is being applied in the Army’s WIN-T (Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) program through our General Dynamics partner," Fortna said. "Based on early indications, we’re seeing strong interest among other defense and civilian and private sector applications, such as in the utility and transportation sectors."

High-volume multicasting for the enterprise?

While the military has certain specific requirements for its network, the same sorts of technologies can have benefits for civilians in a number of different markets.

"We are continuing to expand our client base throughout the U.S. defense and civilian agency markets," Fortna said. "We believe the kinds of solutions we’ve supplied to power the JFCOM JTEN network, such as enabling high-volume multicasting with low latency and minimal CPU degradation, will be of interest to any government agency or corporate enterprise customer with broadly dispersed workforces or partner networks, campus applications, and so on."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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