Juniper Contrail SD-WAN Review

Provides layer four to seven protection but does not support a next-generation firewall

What is our primary use case?

I am a partner and we deploy Juniper and other solutions for our customers. Right now, we are mainly focused on Juniper Contrail SD-WAN.

What is most valuable?

Juniper has layer four to seven protection. It gives you that level of visibility to understand what's going on between layer four and layer seven. Another nice thing about Juniper is that it helps us reduce bandwidth. By reducing bandwidth, I am referring to the difference when it comes to competitors' MPLS circuits. With Juniper, it cuts all of that back. To deploy on the cloud, we don't need to move from one branch to another, or from one data center to another. Juniper SD-WAN gives you that platform for cloud migration. You can deploy to AWS, and GCP — that's Google cloud — without any sort of extra bandwidth from the MPLS circuits.

What needs improvement?

The training could be better. When it comes to the demo dashboard capability, I feel like it could be much easier for our customers to use. Our last customer complained about this. 

Fortinet comes with an additional next-generation firewall — it's an add-on to the initial implementation. Juniper doesn't really provide a next-generation firewall; the add-on function is just not there either. That's something that should be improved on.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been dealing with Juniper for just over one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Juniper is very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Juniper is very scalable regardless of how large a company gets.

How are customer service and technical support?

We provide support to our clients, but we also receive support from Juniper as well. Still, as we've only completed one deployment so far, I haven't had much contact with them yet. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It's very easy and doesn't take much time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing structure is very flexible. It's very flexible depending on what exactly is in a customer's IT infrastructure. It's not rigid at all. It's not as if they say, "Oh, you need to have this and that before you can use Juniper." It's very, very flexible depending on whatever is in the IT infrastructure.

When it comes to licensing, Fortinet is more expensive. That's why some of our customers prefer Juniper. Sometimes they prefer Juniper over Fortinet if they're a larger enterprise, too.

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend Juniper, but only to small to medium-sized organizations. For larger enterprises, I would recommend Fortinet. Juniper is a good choice for smaller organizations that don't have the budget for Fortinet.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give Juniper a rating of seven. 

The dashboard seems a little bit complex. The Initial setup is great but the dashboard seems a little bit too complex for IT personnel who are being trained. The dashboard should be simplified just to ensure that people who are being trained learn faster. Also, as I mentioned, a next-generation firewall cannot be added on. If they improved these things, then I would give Juniper a higher rating. These features would also help Juniper gain traction in the Nigerian market. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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