Juniper upgrades firewall/VPN modules

Juniper Networks Inc. on Monday beefed up its security offerings with faster and more capable hardware modules for its high-end firewall and VPN (virtual private network) platforms.

The Sunnyvale, California, company introduced the 8G2 and 2XGE Secure Port Modules for the Juniper Networks NetScreen-5000 Series Firewall and VPN platforms, available immediately. The modules can be plugged into existing NetScreen-5000 Series platforms for a boost in throughput and better support for new network uses such as VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), said Stephen Philip, director of product marketing for the security products group at Juniper.

The introductions are the latest moves by Juniper to stake its claim in the network security market. They follow the company's rollout last week of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN hardware platforms for small and medium-sized businesses. Juniper acquired both the high-end and the midrange platforms through its purchase of NetScreen last year.

A NetScreen-5400 platform fully loaded with three of the new modules can deliver 30G bps (bits per second) in firewall mode or 15G bps in encrypted VPN mode using 3DES (data encryption standard) or AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), Philip said. It can support 1 million concurrent firewall sessions and 25,000 VPN tunnels. The new modules also allow for secure use of delay-sensitive applications such as VOIP, streaming multimedia and data replication, according to the company.

Among the enhancements in the new Secure Port Modules are hardware acceleration of AES and the ability to handle Jumbo Frames, which are as much as six times the size of standard Ethernet packets and can improve throughput. A key component of both of the new modules is the GigaScreen3 ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits), which can offload from the CPU such intensive functions as large multimedia and data file transfers, Juniper said.

The modules are available now. The 8G2 Secure Port Module costs US$65,000, including a full complement of eight Gigabit Ethernet transceivers for multimode fiber. The 2xGE costs $65,000 and can be equipped with two 10-Gigabit Ethernet transceivers. A short-reach (300-meter) 10-Gigabit Ethernet transceiver costs $3,000 and a long-reach (10-kilometer) transceiver costs $4,000.

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