LAS VEGAS - May 21, 2007 - Juniper Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced the companies are working together to provide customers and partners with open standards-based interoperability between Juniper Networks Unified Access Control (UAC) and Microsoft® Network Access Protection (NAP). Interoperability between NAP and the Juniper Networks UAC solution will provide customers with greater choice, flexibility and investment protection for network access control (NAC) deployments. Juniper Networks and Microsoft are demonstrating NAP/UAC interoperability this week at Interop Las Vegas 2007 in the Microsoft Partner Pavilion #1548, Juniper booth #539, Trusted Computing Group booth #211 and at NAC Day, a sold-out education conference taking place on Monday, May 21, 2007, at the Interop show.
Juniper Networks and Microsoft are further demonstrating joint commitment and continuing support for the Trusted Computing Group's (TCG) Trusted Network Connect (TNC) open specifications for network access control. Microsoft has contributed NAP's primary Statement of Health (SOH) client-server protocol to the TCG. The TCG has adopted and published the Microsoft SOH protocol as a new TNC standard (IF-TNCCS-SOH). This will enable interoperability of NAP clients and servers with TNC clients, servers and infrastructure such as the Juniper Networks UAC solution.
The Juniper Networks Infranet Controller, the policy management server at the heart of the Juniper UAC solution, will be able to leverage the built-in security assessment capabilities and the SOH protocol provided by the NAP agent built into the Windows Vista® and Microsoft Windows® XP operating systems. Microsoft Network Policy Server (NPS) brings a rich ecosystem of NAP health agents and will be able to interoperate with the Juniper Networks UAC solution in heterogeneous network environments. Microsoft NPS can either act as a policy server or be leveraged by the Juniper Infranet Controller for rich endpoint information. Microsoft is announcing that Windows Vista supports this protocol today and Windows Server® 2008 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will support it as well later this year. The Juniper Networks UAC solution is expected to support the new TNC standard in the first half of 2008.
"NAC is too important of a process for customers to continue delaying deployments," said Lawrence Orans, research director at Gartner. "Industry efforts to promote NAC openness and interoperability will help accelerate its adoption."
Open Standards-Based NAP/UAC Interoperability
In an effort to create greater business agility and compete more effectively, today's globally distributed organizations are opening IT systems and both wired and wireless networks to a greater number of users inside and outside. Businesses must ensure employees have access to business critical resources, and a properly controlled level of network access is increasingly important for outside vendors, clients, guests and contractors to ensure the highest levels of business productivity. This has created the paradigm of the shifting network perimeter, leading to a dynamic set of network access control, regulatory compliance and threat management challenges for organizations.
"Interoperability of NAC infrastructures enables customers to quickly and effectively adapt to changing business and network environments, especially now that companies will be able to leverage Windows Vista and Windows XP as their NAP or UAC clients," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Customers can feel confident in the investments they make today in NAP, Windows and the Juniper Networks UAC solution."
"Customers want network access control, but not at the cost of being locked into proprietary architectures. They want to know that the access control purchases they make today will work with the existing systems and technologies they've already deployed," said Hitesh Sheth, vice president of Service Layer Technologies at Juniper Networks. "Through the open standards-based interoperability of our UAC solution with NAP, we will be removing deployment barriers to adoption and providing significant investment protection, paving the way for customers to leverage network access control to meet their high-performance business requirements."
Among the expected benefits of NAP/UAC interoperability will be:
- Access and threat control: Customers are now able to take full advantage of the broad distribution of Windows Vista, and will soon be able to use Windows XP clients as well as the Juniper Networks network infrastructure solutions to achieve robust access control. They will be able to select the components, infrastructure and technology that best addresses their business and technical needs while assuring interoperability.
- Investment protection: Customers can feel confident in making investments in infrastructure from companies such as Juniper Networks that support the new IF-TNCCS-SOH standard. Solutions supporting the new TNC standard will enable customers to leverage their existing infrastructure and provides them with investment protection for their current and impending UAC and/or NAP deployments.
- Simplified deployment: Customers running Windows Vista or Windows XP SP3 will be able to easily realize the benefits of a Juniper UAC deployment without requiring the need to deploy additional client software.
- Support for heterogeneous environments: By utilizing industry standards such as 802.1X and the TNC's open standards, Microsoft NAP and the Juniper Networks UAC solution will help ensure interoperability and compatibility in heterogeneous network environments.