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Deploying Junos Pulse - Manual vs. web portal

kls9036_
New Contributor

Deploying Junos Pulse - Manual vs. web portal

Hi All, Thanks for bearing with the long question, and I am probably missing some important technical details. We use the SA 2500 and have been deploying Network Connect through the Web portal for the last few years. We now want to move our users to Junos Pulse and we are simultaneously testing version Juniper SA 8.0. We use host checking. Earlier this year we started providing our Mac users with a manual installer for Pulse because NC doesn't seem to be compatible with Mavericks, OS 10.9. Pulse has worked very well. I had envisioned that we would eventually switch the web portal from offering Network Connect to offering Pulse. We are running into some problems in our initial testing, especially on Macs. We get a message that host checker wasn't installed properly and that security isn't satisfactory. I did get it to work on one test machine, but the process seemed clunkier than just manually installing Pulse. For one thing, we want to get Java out of the picture, but I get Java-related prompts in the browser in the test environment. Here are some questions: 1) Is Java always going to be a factor if going through the Web portal on Mac? 2) What are the pros and cons of using the Web portal vs. having users manually install? I know that the Web portal initiates an automatic install of the components, as opposed to users manually downloading and installing. Seems like the Web portal can also offer additional info about why host checker has failed. We have a fairly small population of remote users and so far manual install seems to be the easier route, but I am not sure what we lose by doing that. Another plus is that a manual install is browser independent. 3) I noticed that the one successful test through the portal created a connection called "SA". Is that configurable? 4) Will Pulse automatically prompt the user to upgrade if a newer client version is available on the server? Thanks for any help/advice. Karen
2 REPLIES 2
Kita_
Valued Contributor

Re: Deploying Junos Pulse - Manual vs. web portal

Hello Karen,

1) Is Java always going to be a factor if going through the Web portal on Mac?

Yes, client delivery on Mac will be Java. There is no specific road map about changing this behavior.

2) What are the pros and cons of using the Web portal vs. having users manually install? I know that the Web portal initiates an automatic install of the components, as opposed to users manually downloading and installing. Seems like the Web portal can also offer additional info about why host checker has failed. We have a fairly small population of remote users and so far manual install seems to be the easier route, but I am not sure what we lose by doing that. Another plus is that a manual install is browser independent.

There is no pros to using the web portal besides the hassle of having your end user manually install the client. You can use a third party application (like JAMF) to push the client and preconfiguration file to your Mac clients. This will give similar behavior to your end user as the web portal. If anything, the third party application also give you the flexibility to make modification to the Pulse client without end user interaction.

3) I noticed that the one successful test through the portal created a connection called "SA". Is that configurable?

Yes. You can create multiple connections under the Junos Pulse connections and this can be pushed to the clients.

Note: If you have multiple SA devices in your network, you will want to create the connections on one device and export the XML and import this XML to all other devices. This will ensure all connections are the same. If you create one connection on one SA device and create the same connection on another device, these would be considered two different connections. When the connections are created there is a specific GUID created which is what the client/SA use to confirm if the connection is the same or not.

4) Will Pulse automatically prompt the user to upgrade if a newer client version is available on the server?

Yes. This is also configurable on the SA device. By default, this is enabled, but you can disable this feature.

Note: This is a global setting for the whole device. This cannot be disabled for a specific role or realm.

kls9036_
New Contributor

Re: Deploying Junos Pulse - Manual vs. web portal

Thanks! This info is helpful.

-Karen