While the modern march toward the cloud seems relentless, it's important to remember that there are still countless numbers of branch offices in enterprises that still need networking connectivity. In a bid to help bridge the gap between legacy network capabilities and emerging needs for cloud, Juniper Networks this week announced its Cloud-Enabled Branch solution.
The Cloud-Enabled Branch is enabled through new functionality in current Juniper products. Jennifer Blatnik, vice president of cloud, enterprise and security portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks, explained that the Cloud-Enabled Branch solution is part of the Juniper Networks Cloud-Enabled Enterprise Unite framework, which was announced last year as a call to action to evolve and modernize enterprise networks.
"Previously, enterprise capability for rapid deployment of new business applications or network services would take months through a managed service provider or possibly years on their own," Blatnik told Enterprise Networking Planet. "With Juniper’s Cloud-Enabled Branch, enterprises can now build out their own managed services and deploy new business applications or network services to all of their different geographical locations from a private data center, private cloud or hybrid cloud."
Blatnik added that the promise of the Cloud-Enabled Branch is that enterprises can create and manage branch office networking services on-demand within minutes, versus the months or years it used to take.
Part of the Cloud-Enabled Branch is an SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) piece that can benefit from third party vendor integration, including one from Silver Peak. Blatnik explained that Juniper’s Cloud-Enabled Branch SD-WAN functionality provides application-based routing features that enable users to utilize various network links depending on their needs. The SD-WAN features are enabled on NFX with vSRX service or on an SRX services gateway. Both of those serves are managed with policies enabled on Juniper's Contrail Service Orchestration platform.
"The addition of Silver Peak as a third-party service is to provide enterprises more granular control over WAN optimization capabilities as a virtualized service," Blatnik said. "As we build out the Cloud-Enabled Branch, we plan to continue adding more third-party services to the ecosystem. "
On the WLAN piece of the Cloud-Enabled Branch, Juniper now has a partnership with WLAN vendor Ruckus Wireless, which was acquired by rival networking vendor Brocade in April for $1.5 billion.
"Many enterprises, including some of our customers, utilize Ruckus, and we wanted to build a robust management platform that’s compatible with the technologies our customers use," Blatnik said. "With Juniper's Cloud-Enabled Branch, users can take advantage of Ruckus's access points without deploying a separate wireless controller."
Security is also a core element of the Cloud-Enabled Branch. To that end, a number of existing Juniper products and services are part of the solution. Juniper's SRX gateway (in either physical or virtual appliance form) enforces secure content-based routing for the Cloud-Enabled Branch and has policy control driven by Contrail Service Orchestration. The Sky Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service defends the enterprise against malware command and control (C&C) threats by automatically screening all downloads and applications before allowing them to enter the network. Additionally, Blatnik noted that Juniper's Spotlight Secure threat intelligence platform aggregates threat feeds from multiple sources to deliver actionable intelligence to SRX Series Services Gateways across the organization.
While Juniper is now grouping the Cloud-Enabled Branch products and services together as a marketing message, all the products are not sold together as a single SKU.
"Instead, customers that would like the Cloud-Enabled Branch capability will need to have Contrail Service Orchestration and CPE such as the NFX and vSRX or SRX, which are shipping now," Blatnik said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.