The NetScreen move still open to debate

One year has passed since Juniper closed the books on its acquisition of VPN and intrusion-prevention vendor NetScreen Technologies, but the company has yet to parlay its year-old enterprise security presence into a broader corporate business.

Juniper's game plan calls for users of NetScreen's popular SSL and IPSec VPN and intrustion-prevention products to consider Juniper elsewhere in the enterprise. At the deal's one year anniversary, industry watchers debate whether Juniper's $US4 billion gambit was a smart move. From a user perspective, Juniper has a long way to go in changing the perception of the company from carrier-only to enterprise.

While Juniper says new enterprise products are on the way, it won't describe them or say when they will be ready to ship. That leaves potential business customers and industry watchers uncertain about what to expect. So where does that leave enterprise buyers? Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala says Juniper shouldn't try to take on Cisco product for product. He says Juniper should focus on supporting next-generation data centres that rely on high availability.

Toward that end, he says Juniper needs high-end switches and load balancers along the lines of those made by Foundry Networks. So where does that leave enterprise buyers? It's too early to tell.

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