Juniper Unites Network Architecture, Evolves Security

Juniper wraps its hardware and software efforts together and once again Junos is at the core.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Sep 29, 2015
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Juniper Networks has always positioned its Junos operating system as the unifying, underlying common denominator across the vast majority of its portfolio. But a complete networking fabric in the modern IT environment goes beyond just firmware today. It needs cloud, security and automation elements, which is where the Juniper Unite effort fits into the picture.

Juniper is announcing Unite today as an overarching architecture that includes hardware and software.

"Juniper's Unite architecture helps organizations to become cloud enabled enterprises," Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, Juniper Development and Innovation at Juniper Networks, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Going half a level deeper, Juniper is also announcing the Junos Fusion Enterprise architecture, which is all about enabling an organization to build an agile enterprise. At the core of Junos Fusion Enterprise is the 802.1BR Bridge Port Extension standard.

"This standard specifies the devices, protocols, procedures and managed objects necessary to extend a bridge and its management beyond its physical enclosure using 802 LAN technologies," the IEEE standard states.

Davidson explained that Junos Fusion Enterprise helps to enable automation across a network and eases overall management. From a branding and product perspective, Davidson explained that the Junos Fusion Enterprise architecture is a subset of the overarching Unite initiative. As the product name implies, Junos Fusion Enterprise, from a technology perspective, is about incremental updates in the core Junos operating system that powers Juniper's hardware.

Juniper is also updating its Junos Space Network Director, which first debuted in 2013 alongside the EX9200 programmable switch. The updates are set to improve management of Junos Fusion Enterprise fabric groups across a distributed enterprise.

Juniper Unite security

Security is a core element of Juniper Unite and is being expanded today with a new service called Sky Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP). Davidson explained that the new security service is cloud-based, providing detection, deception techniques and machine learning to help protect enterprises against security threats.

"While the service sits in the cloud, attacks are actually dynamically blocked across an enterprise's infrastructure using Juniper SRX gateways," Davidson said.

Davidson said that Sky ATP detects and blocks all command and control traffic and, to protect against new threats, intercepts objects traversing the network border and streams them to the cloud. Sky ATP analyzes intercepted files using multiple types of techniques.

Sky ATP is an evolution of Juniper's security services, which have been known by different names in recent years. In 2013, Juniper launched its Secure Spotlight technology as well as WebApp Secure services for security. WebApp Secure is a deception-based technology built from assets Juniper gained through the $80 million 2012 acquisition of Mykonos. In 2014, Juniper called its overarching security effort Argon Secure.

"We have utilized the Mykonos technology and engineering team around deception techniques to build out the Sky ATP service," Davidson explained. "Argon was actually the code name for this product."

While the Sky ATP service works with much of Juniper's existing portfolio, at launch, it doesn't have an integration with Juniper's Contrail Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller. Davidson said it's just a matter of time until that integration is in place, but it's not being announced at this time.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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