Juniper Networks announced its entry into the ethernet switches market with the introduction of the EX line of switches.

An excerpt from ZDNet:

Said Greg Bunt, Juniper’s advanced technology business regional director: “In the market, you have one main player and seven smaller ones. [Cisco] is focused on an end-to-end solution, but that is not a best-of-breed one.”

According to Bunt, the other smaller players compete by “adding value with services, and also in price”. Juniper’s value proposition is in offering network administrators finer control over user access and behavior, on top of a lower price point, he said.

“The challenge most have with security in their networks is that beyond providing access, there is very little knowledge about what people do once it’s granted to them,” he explained. “Security is typically designed as an overlay on top of the network, but now [security records have] got to be auditable and kept for many years.”

Two models — EX 3200 ($ 4,000) and EX 4200 ($ 6,000) — are expected by March 2008, while the EX 8200 is to arrive in the second half of this year.

With the latest offering, Juniper enters into one of Cisco’s main line of business.

More information:

Juniper launches its first ever Ethernet switch (Computing)

Juniper networks delivers on enterprise vision (Business Wire)

Juniper targets Cisco with EX Enterprise Switch launch (IT Pro)