Juniper ready to pop Pepsi

Juniper Networks Inc. next week will announce the J-Series of enterprise access routers, otherwise known by the code name “Pepsi,” according to sources.

The J-Series consists of three models, all featuring two Fast Ethernet ports. The 2300 is a 4Mbps device with one WAN port and one expansion slot. The 4300 is a 16Mbps router with six WAN ports. And the 6300 is a 90Mbps device, also with six WAN ports.

Contrary to previous reports, the J-Series will not initially feature any integrated security technology from Juniper’s recent acquisition of NetScreen. VPN, firewall and intrusion-detection capabilities have been developed by Juniper, sources say.

Juniper declined to comment on “rumors.”

The routers will run “enterprise” versions of JUNOS 6.4 and 7.0. These “scaled down” versions of Juniper’s router operating system have had service provider-specific features removed, sources say.

Each router will incorporate two general-purpose processors — one for control-plane functions, the other for forwarding.

Initially, the routers will be resold through service providers as components of managed service offerings, but Juniper plans to sell them directly to enterprises over time, sources say.

The routers will be available in the third or fourth quarter. Pricing could not be learned by press time. They are expected to compete with Cisco’s 1700, 2600/2700 and 3600/3700 series routers.

The J-Series routers are part of Juniper’s plan to invade Cisco’s enterprise turf to fill out its Infranet Initiative plan, a strategy to coalesce the industry around standards for making the Internet a business-viable network. The US$4 billion acquisition of NetScreen early this year was a clear sign that Juniper had backed away from its pledge not to play in the enterprise market where it may compete with its service provider customers.

Some believe Juniper will make another significant acquisition of an enterprise player, perhaps Ethernet LAN switch vendor Extreme Networks Inc.

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