Juniper Session Smart Router

The Session Smart™ Router powers Juniper’s SD-WAN solution that’s designed to connect users with exceptional experiences. Built on an application-aware and zero-trust secure network fabric, it meets the most stringent enterprise performance, security, and availability requirements.

The router overcomes inherent inefficiencies of conventional solutions with a tunnel-free architecture that enables improved performance, fast deployments, and cost savings. The software solution can run on customer premises equipment (CPE), on data center network servers, and in the cloud for flexible deployments. It is centrally manageable using the AI-driven Juniper Mist™ cloud or the Juniper Session Smart Conductor platform.

Key Features

  • Application-aware routing
  • Fail-safe service delivery
  • Orchestration and automation
  • Zero trust security
  • Centralized management using the Juniper Mist Cloud or Session Smart Conductor

Features + Benefits

Application-Aware for Optimized Experiences

Application awareness supports load balancing and traffic steering based on session policies and network status, ensuring optimal performance for critical applications. The Session Smart Router is the only product in the industry with a network routing fabric expressly designed to connect users with exceptional experiences, not merely connect devices.

Visibility and Insights

The session-based routing solution delivers richer and more granular insights than packet-based solutions. With Juniper Mist WAN Assurance, powered by Mist AI™, these insights provide unparalleled visibility into user experiences, anomalies, and root cause issues.  

Centralized Cloud Management

The Mist AI cloud simplifies deployment and management with zero touch provisioning (ZTP), templating tools, full stack visibility, and AI insights and automation.

Zero Trust Security

The Session Smart Router is the only routing solution with inherent zero trust access control, directionality, and segmentation policy, all powered by secure vector routing. IDS/IPS and URL filtering add additional security.  

Scale and Speed

The Session Smart Routing fabric rapidly scales to thousands of sites while accelerating service deployment through centralized orchestration of global policies. True zero touch provisioning (ZTP) and automated templating tools enable deployments in minutes rather than days.

Breakthrough Economics

A tunnel-less architecture enables up to 30–50 percent reduction in bandwidth, reducing costs and improving application performance.

A Magic Quadrant Visionary

Gartner positions Juniper Networks as a Visionary in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SD-WAN.

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Seagate to Leverage Juniper Networks' AI-driven Enterprise Solutions

Seagate Technology® has selected Juniper’s full stack AI-driven enterprise portfolio to support its evolving business needs. The Juniper solution, driven by Mist AI and the cloud, offers Seagate proactive automation and unique client-to-cloud insight, as well as optimized performance and cost savings in key areas of their IT infrastructure.

Seagate, a world leader in mass-data storage infrastructure solutions, has multiple sites in 18 countries that share a vast amount of data. As a way of decreasing network costs and optimizing the performance of key applications between these locations, Seagate is moving from a traditional MPLS network to Juniper’s AI-driven SD-WAN solution. Juniper’s unique tunnel-less SD-WAN architecture can help reduce Seagate’s telco and hosting costs, which is ideal for high bandwidth activities like data transfers.

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Juniper Session Smart Router FAQs

What is the Session Smart Router?

The Juniper Session Smart Router is a software-based router that enables tunnel-free, application-aware and zero-trust secure networks. The Session Smart Router is agile and resilient and provides cost-effective and efficient WAN connectivity. Together, the Session Smart Router and Mist AI power Juniper’s AI-driven SD-WAN solution.

What are the benefits of Session Smart Routing?

Session Smart Routing (SSR) improves both end-user and IT user experiences by simplifying operations and boosting application performance. SSR scales to thousands of sites, and protects users and data with inherent, zero-trust access policies. SSR's tunnel-free architecture enables robust security without sacrificing performance. 

What is a session aware network?

A session aware network is a type of network that has the ability to understand and manage  the full context of a session, including user and group information, as well as the type of application being used. Session awareness also encompasses other critical information to enhance application awareness. This information includes authentication, encryption and management of the session’s state, informing the network administrator about the application’s status at any specific point in time.  

What are the benefits of a session aware network?

A session aware network offers many benefits, including these top three: 

  • Enhanced User Experience: By understanding the specifics of each session, the network can prioritize and optimize traffic for better performance, leading to a smoother user experience.
  • Huge scale improvements: Sessions tying an application to a user are addressed individually for as long as the session is open. 
  • Inherent Zero-Trust Security: Session aware networks often employ a “deny-by-default” approach, only allowing traffic that has been explicitly permitted. This zero-trust model enhances security by reducing the attack surface.   

What are the limitations of tunneling protocols like IPsec?

Tunneling protocols like IPsec add about 30% additional bandwidth per packet sent, which reduces available network capacity and slows application performance. (We refer to this wasted overhead as “badput.”)

Tunneled architectures limit scaling and are inflexible in terms of their topology requirements. They can be hub-and-spoke, but the hub will slow down real-time traffic. Attempting a point-to-point architecture is possible but becomes cumbersome and difficult to maintain. A session-based architecture is much more flexible and can optimize for both real-time and asynchronous traffic. 

What are the benefits of tunnel-free routing?

Unlike tunnel-based routing, tunnel-free routing does not add additional bandwidth to network traffic, enabling improved application performance and costs savings. Furthermore, tunnel-free architectures are flexible and highly scalable, enabling faster deployments at any scale.

Does the Session Smart Router encrypt traffic?

Yes, the Session Smart Router encrypts traffic. Additionally, it offers an adaptive encryption feature that avoids “double encrypting” already encrypted traffic. By some estimates, up to 95% of network traffic is already encrypted, and double encrypting traffic, which often occurs in tunneled environments, is costly and can hinder network performance.

What security features does the Session Smart Router have?

Juniper’s tunnel-free Session Smart Routing is inherently zero-trust secure with deny-by-default access policies. Session Smart Routing has built-in firewall functionality, such as intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) and URL filtering. It is also FIPS 140-2 certified and PCI and HIPAA compliant.

What are the deployment options for the Session Smart Router?

The Session Smart Router is software-based and deployable on Juniper SSR Series Routers Hardware, white-box customer premises equipment, data center network servers, and all major public clouds. See the Session Smart Router Datasheet to learn more.

Who should use the Juniper Session Smart Router?

Small- and medium-sized business, enterprises, telecommunications providers, and managed service provides looking to modernize their network and improve IT and end-user experiences should all consider using the Juniper Session Smart Router.

What are the use cases for the Session Smart Router?

The Session Smart Router supports several use cases, including:

  • Improving network security and performance through a router refresh or SD-WAN deployment 
  • Creating a secure Software Defined Branch (SD-Branch)
  • Accelerating cloud migration initiatives 
  • Lowering operational costs, especially for traffic to and from the cloud
  • Fast-tracking and simplifying WAN deployments and management operations

Where can I get help with the Session Smart Router?

For help with the Session Smart Router, view our Session Smart Router Documentation, take a training course, or join our SD-WAN Community. We also offer deployment services. Read the SD-WAN Deployment Services Datasheet for deployment information.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN Infrastructure, by Jonathan Forest, Naresh Singh, Andrew Lerner, Karen Brown, [Publish Date September 27, 2023].

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