Juniper has new hardware and software that it says will speed remote-site and data centre traffic while reducing hardware requirements.

A top-of-the-line IP WAN acceleration box will improve application performance between branch offices and headquarters, and a router scales down the technology to fit corporate needs and budgets.

"These are a bunch of independent product launches, but they all have an impact on the data centre," said Forrestor analyst Rob Whiteley, adding that the gear will help Juniper compete with Cisco, Citrix and F5 Networks.

A new WAN-acceleration appliance that supports 45Mbit/s of throughput as it compresses, caches, optimizes TCP flows and speeds up applications. WXC devices are deployed at both ends of WAN links to squeeze more data across the connections. The WXC 590 is designed for sites with high-bandwidth WAN links that have to make connections with scores or even hundreds of remote sites.

Mustang Engineering in Houston, for instance, uses Juniper's current top-speed WXC 500 with 20Mbit/s of throughput at two sites with 40Mbit/s WAN connections. A WXC 590 could fill the entire link by itself, whereas it would take two WXC 500s and a separate device called a WX to tie them together to gain the same throughput, says Keith Wingate, network administrator for the firm.

The list price of the three boxes needed in that configuration is $105,000, while a single WXC 590 with the same capacity costs $46,000. The new WXC 590s can be stacked in conjunction with a WX 100 to support a 155Mbit/s OC-3 link and connections with as many as 840 remote sites.

Beyond its WAN-acceleration gear, Juniper is announcing upgrades to its line of Web server front-end devices that load balance and offload processing from the servers. The boxes also protect servers from denial-of-service attacks and SYN floods.

The company is introducing two devices in its DX series of WAN-acceleration appliances that cost the same as the devices they replace, but one boosts transactions per second from 800 to 2,500, and the other, from 1,700 to 3,650. DX 3280 replaces DX 3250, and DX 3680 replaces DC 3650. The price of a DX 3280 is $25,000 to $45,000, depending on features. The price of a DX 3680 is $50,000 to $70,000.

For network access to data centers, Juniper is introducing the M120 router, a 120Gbit/s box that supports as many as 12 10Gbit/s ports or 120 1Gbit/s ports. The router has dual-routing engines with mirrored Border Gateway Protocol and Open Shortest Path First tables, so software can be upgraded on the device without downtime.

This is a notch down from Juniper's largest M-series router, the 320Gbit/s M320. The M120 might be an alternative to a Cisco 7200 series router, says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with Yankee Group. The M120 costs from $73,000 for a base model to $285,000 for a large data-centre configuration.

Juniper also has new management software for its WX and WXC devices that should improve its sequence caching technology and support central management and configuration of the devices wherever they are on the network.