Juniper Pushes Services Policy

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is beefing up its products in the area of network policy, saying services like VOIP and on-demand video are creating a need for these functions to tie more closely to the router network.

Juniper today launched the C-series line of controllers, appliances that use Juniper's SDX-300 to enforce policy across the network. The boxes run the newly introduced session and resource control (SRC) software, modular offshoots of its SDX-300 Service Deployment System software. (See Juniper Enhances Policy.)

The C-series and the SRC modules fit into the policy and control layer that includes Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) gateways and authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) servers. This layer of the network helps take care of user authentication and plays a role in quality of service (QOS) by telling the network what level of service should be permitted. (See Who Makes What: IP-Based Services Control.)

Policy is already important, but Juniper sees it becoming even more crucial to carriers. "We're finding many of these experiential services that service providers are beginning to offer and that consumers want are driven by identity," says Scott Heinlein, Juniper senior manager of service provider marketing.

Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) is working along similar lines with its Soapstone subsidiary, where it's pitching control-plane software that could be suitable for Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) Ethernet, for example. (See Soapstone Touts Support.) But Juniper, even though it's using open interfaces, is applying the concept more to its own advantage, says Ray Mota, an analyst with Synergy Research Group Inc.

"What they look to gain by offering this environment is to be deeper and wider into the account," Mota says. "Will this have a major effect on revenues? No, it's not that big of a market, from a Juniper perspective. But it's a strategic market."

The idea bears some similarity to the work of the IPsphere Forum . That group, spawned from Juniper's Infranet Initiative, is trying to establish ways to maintain security and QOS uniformly throughout the network. (See Infranet Becomes IPsphere.)

That doesn't mean this is a bid for the all-Juniper network. The company is bringing in partners through its Open IP Service Creation Program (OSCP), a club that includes Ellacoya Networks Inc. and Tropos Networks Inc. and as of today has added Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT) and BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND).

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:11:56 PM
re: Juniper Pushes Services Policy Well, sort of.

What do folks think -- is this a direction Juniper ought to be pursuing? Or will IPsphere take care of it? (Or will IPsphere even work, for that matter...)
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