Juniper aims for Cisco

Juniper’s recent acquisitions of Peribit and Redline Networks (see IT Weekly page 8, 7 – 13 May 2005) is seen as a smart move by Gartner analysts, who predict the applications market to grow by more than 40% year over year.

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By  Jane Plunkett Published  May 12, 2005

Juniper’s recent acquisitions of Peribit and Redline Networks (see IT Weekly page 8, 7 – 13 May 2005) is seen as a smart move by Gartner analysts, who predict the applications market to grow by more than 40% year over year. Gartner predict the acquisitions will stand to re-shape the entire enterprise networking industry, as the company plans to address the full scope of application optimisation requirements. According to Gartner, Juniper now holds an advantage for significant differentiation over rival company Cisco Systems in the enterprise market. Juniper's virtual private network (VPN) technology and J-, E- and M-series edge routers, combined with Peribit's WAN optimization and Redline's application delivery components, will allow Juniper to deliver a robust WAN architecture that will improve end-user performance by two to 10 times when compared with Cisco infrastructure, Gartner suggests. This advantage should stand to strengthen the company’s position in the market and will help lead to further market consolidation as competitors are forced to respond to Juniper’s initiative. The acquisitions also provide Juniper with a key component within enterprise data centers and represent a major step in enabling Juniper to deliver an application-fluent infrastructure. Establishing an application-fluent infrastructure is something that is at the forefront of Juniper’s post-acquisition plans. The company is aiming to consolidate market segments into a more comprehensive platform by offering products that improve the responsiveness and performance of IT systems. Businesses need to pick a strategic vendor that can do more than offer point products to solve specific problems, said Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO of Juniper Networks, during a wide-ranging keynote speech at the Interop 2005 conference. Business-technology managers should look for vendors that can offer multifunctional products or platforms that can address a variety of business and technology problems, he continued. Juniper is trying to establish itself as such a vendor through recent partnerships and acquisitions. "We are very much focused on industry collaboration, which means creating win-win partnerships and open standards," Kriens said. While the future indeed looks rosy for Juniper, Gartner warns that Juniper needs to further develop its marketing, sales and channels in order to deeply penetrate the enterprise market. Its enterprise products are spread across two divisions with two separate management and development teams. Gartner recommends that Juniper creates a credible enterprise team if it is to take full advantage of the huge opportunity it is presented with.

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