Juniper Aims to Simply Connect Networks

Networking can be a complicated and messy business at times. In an effort to help reduce complexity, Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) is rolling out a new portfolio of networking gear under the branding ‘Simply Connected.’

The new Simply Connected portfolio includes EX switches as well as wireless LAN controller and mobile security updates. The overall theme is to help enterprises to manage devices independent of whatever operating system that they might be using.

“The primary means that people connect to the network is shifting from wired to wireless,” Alex Gray, senior vice president and general manager of Juniper’s campus and branch business unit, told “The lynchpin of our mobile is our Junos Pulse Mobile Security suite which is now at version 3.”

The new Junos Pulse Mobile 3.0 release provides enhanced customization capabilities for enterprises and OEM to extend enterprise security to mobile devices. Juniper first announced the Junos Pulse Mobile effort in 2010 and has been improving the technology ever since.

On the Wireless LAN (WLAN) side Juniper is introducing the WLC880 Wireless LAN Controller. The WLC880 is the first product released from Juniper that came from their acquisition of WLAN vendor Trapeze. Juniper acquired Trapeze at the end of 2010 for $152 million. The WLC880 can support up to 256 access points using 802.11n radios.

The WLC880 runs the Trapeze operating system and is not based on Juniper Junos operating system that power the majority of Juniper’s networking equipment. Gray noted that Juniper is still hard at work combining the capabilities of Trapeze with Junos in an integrated way.

On the LAN side, Juniper’s Simply Connected portfolio is adding three new Ethernet switches, the EX6200, EX3300 and the compact EX2200-C switches. The key new element in the switches is support for Juniper’s Virtual Chassis technology. Juniper has been talking about Virtual Chassis as part of its EX4200 switch since 2008. Virtual Chassis enables multiple physical EX switches to be managed as a single switch.

“Virtual Chassis has the notion of processing a packet once and then pass it along to its destination port with no further processing,” Gray said. “Virtual Chassis can also be deployed over a geographically distributed area of up to 80 km between switches.”

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

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