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Cisco rival Juniper lands Microsoft’s Muglia

Former Windows Server chief to guide Juniper’s software strategy

It was a cleaner software foundation that attracted former Microsoft executive Bob Muglia to Cisco rival Juniper Networks. That, and the fact that he was familiar with many executives at Juniper from his days at Microsoft.

Juniper this week announced that Muglia will be joining the company as executive vice president of its Software Solutions Division. In this newly created position, Muglia will oversee the company's end-to-end software strategy and lead the newly formed Software Solutions Division.

He will report directly to Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson, another former Microsoft executive whom he worked under at Microsoft for 18 months.

A 23-year veteran of Microsoft, Muglia most recently served as president of Microsoft's $15 billion Server and Tools Business, where he was responsible for infrastructure software, developer tools and cloud platforms, including products such as Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, System Center and the Windows Azure Platform.

He was ousted by CEO Stever Ballmer and replaced with Microsoft online services veteran, Satya Nadella. Instead of accepting a new role at Microsoft, Muglia agreed to leave the company this summer.

Muglia also held leadership positions across Microsoft's Developer, Office, Mobile Devices, Windows NT and Online Services business groups.

Juniper is centralizing its software business to further position it as a company differentiator and growth engine. Included in it will be software for Juniper's SRX Series and vGW Series security platforms, MobileNext packet core offering for mobile operators, Junos Pulse mobile security suite for managing devices, and the Junos Space platform for developing and deploying network applications.

Software will be a key enabler of mobile device support, cloud computing and application intelligence in the networking industry going forward, Muglia says.

"The emergence of cloud, heterogeneous devices connecting, and applications (executing) in a much more automated state creates an opportunity to bring software into the network and connect to all devices," he says. "Networks are configured and managed by manual processes, people with mice and keyboards, and separate from the application infrastructure. There is no way to deal with the scale of the amount of configuration changes in the network to ensure the reliability and consistency of the environment. Networks will be applications driven; applications are at the center of intelligence and business value. The infrastructure as a whole is being driven by the applications. Juniper is very well positioned to take this on with QFabric for cloud, and a single operating system platform. There's not a lot of legacy mess to clean up."

"We are excited to have a leader of Bob's caliber coming on board to lead Juniper's software initiatives, and I'm confident that his vision, management savvy and technical expertise will bring tremendous value to our organization," CEO Johnson said, in a statement.

Muglia said he talked to several companies, and venture capital and equity firms, large and small, including Cisco, before deciding to go to Juniper.

"I did talk to Cisco, they're bunch of great guys there," he said.

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