Juniper, Cisco Heat up SSL VPN Space

The SSL VPN market heated up this week with the Juniper Networks release of a new managed and virtualized platform for service providers. But it’s not the only company vying for a piece.

Juniper’s competitor Cisco Systems is also in the market with a similar solution set to capitalize on the explosive demand for SSL VPN services.

Juniper’s new Secure Access (SA) 6000 SP SSL VPN appliance is a carrier-class solution that includes full virtualization capabilities enabling service providers to provision a variety of services. Those services include the typical gambit of SSL VPN abilities of remote access, security, wireless access and even Voice over IP.

The virtualization system is something that Juniper calls the Instant Virtual System (IVS) and provides access management, network and application layer virtualization.

Juniper claims that the SA 6000 SP can offer 255 virtual SSL VPN gateways on a single appliance. Multiple SA 6000 SPs can also be clustered to expand scalability and availability.

The IVS software separates traffic and customers, allowing the service provider to set individual network management policies based on the customer. Juniper has also included detailed logging and auditing capabilities to ensure compliance with government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

Vivian Ganitsky, director of product management at Juniper, explained that the solution offers benefits to both carriers and end users.

“As SSL VPN technology has matured and entered the mainstream many of the SME customers also want to benefit and many times its easier for them to outsource to a service provider than do it in-house,” Ganitsky told

Juniper claimed that the solution was an industry first; however, its competitor Cisco system apparently has a similar solution in the market, as well.

“While Cisco can’t comment specifically about competitor claims, what we can say is Cisco does offer an SSL VPN solution targeted at large-scale enterprises and service providers,” Cisco spokesperson Amy Hughes told

Cisco’s solution is called the WebVPN Services Module and was launched at the beginning of June. Like Juniper’s solution, WebVPN Services Module enables, “multiple, logical SSL VPN gateways with each having its own policy and management support.”

“This is an unprecedented offering; we are the first in the SSL VPN industry to offer end to end virtualization in an appliance form factor,” Vaishali Ghiya, senior product line manager at Juniper, explained. “It’s unmatched because many times [competitors] provide basic network layer virtualization like VLAN tagging and also on top of that Juniper’s feature set is much more advanced.”

Regardless of who was first with what, the SSL VPN market is growing, with a number of different analyst firms projecting growth for the market.

According to data from Infonetics cited by Juniper, 74 percent of enterprises polled expect to deploy SSL VPN, up from 35 percent in 2004.

Data Monitor stats cited by Juniper show a 39 percent compound annual growth rate in the SSL VPN managed services market for 2005 growing to 61 percent by 2008.

Synergy Research Group recently reported that for the second quarter of 2005, SSL VPN sales were up by almost 40 percent on a year-over-year basis and by 11 percent on a quarterly basis.

Article courtesy of

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