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New look Juniper opens up, readies for next decade

Announcements answer some questions, though others remain regarding FCoE, Stratus products for the data center

By , Network World
October 30, 2009 11:56 AM ET

Network World - Juniper Networks' wide-ranging announcements last week, billed as the most significant since its founding in 1996, included a sweeping array of software, silicon, systems and partnerships designed to take the company and its customers into the next decade of networking.

Slideshow: Juniper a brief history

The big splash was staged on the 40th anniversary of the Internet's birth, hosted by the New York Stock Exchange (Juniper's most recent showcase account) and featured the unveiling of Juniper's new corporate logo.

Why the makeover?

"It puts a stake in the ground for our vision for the next decade," said Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson at the event. "We're driving to a platform view that's horizontal and open to integration: one platform with unlimited applications."

With that, Juniper unveiled its new strategy for opening and licensing its JUNOS operating system to developers and partners. Juniper actually opened up JUNOS two years ago under its Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP) program, and Cisco soon followed with a similar program for IOS.

But the new Juniper push, called JUNOS Space, is intended to demonstrate the number of diverse application and platform opportunities for the Juniper operating system.

"The API is the same. They're bringing it forward, re-explaining it," says Eve Griliches, an analyst at IDC. "It's a larger marketing push [to attract] newer, additional platforms," she says, likening it to Apple's application recruitment drive for its iPhone.

Licensing JUNOS code, however, is new, and is an effort to drive JUNOS into key markets where it can head off Cisco. Blade Network Technologies, a maker of blade server switches for data centers, is the first recipient of a JUNOS license. This will enable Juniper, Blade and data center partners such as IBM to offer a single rack-to-core operating system for the data center and block Cisco from grabbing more of the blade server switch market, says Vikram Mehta, Blade president and CEO.

Anything would be helpful. Juniper, which entered the Ethernet switching market in 2008, had a 1.1% revenue share of the $3.8 billion market in the second quarter of 2009, compared with Cisco's 66.7%, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Juniper is also fortifying its hardware to gain more share in service provider edge routing, among other markets. The company rolled out a new generation of processors, called Trio, designed to massively scale the edge of the service provider network. It also introduced new MX-series Ethernet edge routers with "3D" scaling of bandwidth, subscribers and services.
In this market, Juniper is still chasing Cisco but is now essentially tied with Alcatel-Lucent for second place with 19% revenue share of the $1.2 billion market in the second quarter. Alcatel-Lucent has the momentum, with 11% growth from last year compared with Juniper's 14% decline and Cisco's 38% drop, according to Dell'Oro Group.

The 3D technology, however, will give the MX series a fourfold performance increase over Cisco's ASR9000 and more than twice that of Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 services router, claims Kim Perdikou, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group.

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