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October 22, 2007

Juniper Networks Enhances WX/WXC Application

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor


Juniper Networks (News - Alert) is attempting to fortify its application security with new software enhancements designed for the WXTM and WXCTM application acceleration platforms.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based high-performance networking company also announced enhancements to the WX Central Management SystemTM (CMSTM) that allow for the integration of content distribution and WAN optimization within a single platform.

Juniper execs say the latest innovations will help customers to accelerate the deployment of new applications, enhance user productivity and gain IT infrastructure and management efficiencies across the extended enterprise.

Those upgrade efforts include upgrades to Juniper's WX/WXC platforms running the new WX software (WXOS) version 5.5 which now includes the new Application Flow Acceleration (AppFlowTM) for SSL feature, which is designed to speed encrypted application performance by as much as 25X over the wide-area network while helping enterprises maintain end-to-end security of business-critical information.

"With the addition of acceleration for both secure application traffic and SMB-signed traffic, Juniper's WX/WXC platforms help preserve an enterprises' WAN security policy by addressing two security-for-performance tradeoffs that have traditionally faced by IT," Ross Roesner, vice president, WX Business Unit at Juniper Networks, said.

By participating in the application's trust model, WX/WXC platforms deployed in the branch office and data center are able to fully optimize and accelerate SSL-encrypted traffic without requiring changes to either the client or server.

In addition, AppFlow for SSL accelerates and optimizes a broad array of secure collaboration, customer relationship management, financial accounting and other mission-critical applications from companies such as Microsoft (News - Alert), Oracle and SAP.

"In contrast to point product vendors, Juniper differentiates itself through the delivery of a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for securing and optimizing networks, enabling high-performance businesses to quickly meet their application performance demands while addressing an evolving branch and data center environment."

With the new WXOS 5.5, Juniper has also added transparent acceleration for Server Message Block (SMB)-signed traffic. SMB signing is enabled by default on Windows 2003 servers when acting as domain controllers and helps prevent "man-in-the-middle" attacks by ensuring that data packets have not been changed between the client and server, according to the company.

Signed SMB traffic creates complex scenarios for optimization, requiring enterprises to increase costs and management burdens by deploying proxy servers at the branch, or IT departments to disable signatures resulting in security compromises. With the introduction of transparent SMB signing, Juniper's WX/WXC platforms can provide "zero touch" optimization and acceleration of signed SMB traffic without compromising the security or integrity of the data as it crosses the WAN.

Based on results from testing at SAP's Enterprise Services Community Networking Lab (ENL) in Palo Alto (News - Alert), Calif., Juniper's WX and DX application acceleration platforms provided users up to a 99 percent improvement in network access times for SAP solution-based transactions and reduced CPU demands on application servers by as much as 50 percent.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.

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