Juniper Folds Netscreen Into SSG Line

Juniper Networks said it will stop making new NetScreen security devices, replacing them with new Secure Services Gateway (SSG) machines.

Juniper today filled out the SSG line, introduced earlier this year, with the SSG 5, SSG 20 and SSG 140 lines.

The SSG appliances, though not carrying the NetScreen name, carry the ScreenOS operating system developed by NetScreen. ScreenOS was recently updated to version 5.4.

Juniper purchased NetScreen in a blockbuster $4 billion dollar deal in 2004. But it seems the NetScreen life cycle has run its course.

“We’ve now refreshed the entire NetScreen portfolio from the 5GT through the NS200 series,” Chris Spain, senior director of product management at Juniper told

“I will reiterate that we have no plans to discontinue those models and they will be shipping for some time, but if
someone is looking for a new platform the SSG’s are the ones to go buy.”


The SSG20 appliance.

Source: Juniper

Meanwhile, the new SSG 5 is the logical successor to the NetScreen 5GT; the SSG 140 refreshes the NetScreen 25 appliance.

According to Spain, the SSG 20 is breaking new ground for Juniper in that it brings an SSG at a sub-$1000 price point; the SSG 20 also includes module interfaces for WANs (define).

The new devices offer improved performance and speed over their NetScreen predecessors. For example, Spain noted that the data sheet for the NetScreen 5GT rates firewall performance at 75 megabits per second (Mbps) and VPN performance at 25 Mbps.

The new SSG 5 offers 160 Mbps on the firewall and 40 Mbps of VPN performance. Juniper has also provided more memory in the new SSG devices.

“The additional memory allows for greater coverage in terms of IPS (define) and also the AV [anti-virus] that can be put onto the device,” Spain noted.

Juniper’s SSG series offers full Unified Threat Management (UTM) capabilities including stateful firewall, IPS, anti-virus, antispam and Web filtering features.

Juniper is positioning its SSG product line as a box that can do both networking and security.

“Many organizations have a separation of security and networking,” Spain explained. “What these devices bring is the ability to meld security and networking together.”

With SSG, the market Juniper is going after is one where chief rival Cisco Systems holds a strong footprint.

“We want to be both positioned as a security device, site-to-site VPN and also break into the secure router market as well,” Spain said. “So absolutely we’re going after the space that you would typically see the Cisco low end platforms in.”

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