From this press release:
“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). “
This is similar to an announcement last year that we did with Cisco around interoperability with their Network Admission Control system. What’s exciting about these technologies is the integration of the network infrastructure with the server and client infrastructure. In most cases to date these infrastructure have not been well integrated. The network infrastructure has had little or no awareness of the type and state of clients/servers attached to it and the computing infrastructure has had little or no awareness of the underlying network it relies on other than its up or down status. With these interoperability announcements, decisions at the network level will be able to leverage data originating from higher in the stack. The most frequently cited example is the unpatched client machine attaching to the network. With the integration of the network UAC/NAC with NAP, the client machine will be prevented fomr connecting to the main network until the appropriate patches are applied. While extremely valuable, this example just scratches the surface of what is possible. NAP is platform that can be built and extended by partners in many ways such as creating custom health models etc. The integration of the network and computing infrastructure in the future will enable all kinds of advanced scenarios such as dynamic quality of service or dyanmic secure VLANs based on the authentication method used, etc.