Juniper and Aruba Partner Up on Network Solutions

Juniper and Aruba Partner Up on Network SolutionsJuniper Networks and Aruba Networks, two heavy hitters in the space of wireless network solutions, have decided to adopt a “strategic partnership” in order to offer “converged wired and wireless networking infrastructures” to their prospective and current clients, according to eWeek’s Jeffrey Burt.

This partnership will focus on joint technology development as well as efforts to place that technology in the hands of new customers. Burt says that this agreement will be similar to ones Aruba signed with several other providers last year, including Brocade and and Alcatel-Lucent. More specifically, Juniper will integrate its switches and routers into Aruba’s wireless networking products.

Juniper plans to benefit by now having another option to provide its wireless networking solutions customers, although it will continue to offer its own line of wireless networking solutions. I also  see this as a way for Juniper to benefit from Aruba’s strength in wireless networking, as now every sale of an Aruba enterprise wireless network likely offers revenue for Juniper from those in-built switches and routers.

Juniper bought Trapeze in 2010 specifically in order to boost the capability wireless networking product line, according to Burt. This does make me wonder if Juniper is having in-house development or technology problems on the wireless front, although Juniper’s new CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir, put a positive spin on the deal (of course) by outlining the benefits consumers would see:

“With Aruba we jointly deliver a unique, interoperable wired and wireless solution that will enable customers to realize performance, cost, intelligence and simplified management benefits”

Another way Juniper is spinning this is that Juniper is opening up its products and technology to third party integration in order to “offer customers best-of-breed networking solutions without vendor lock-in.”

Johnathan Davidson, SVP of Engineering at Juniper, explained that this strategy with Aruba will be executed in three phases, with phase one focused on integrated management applications, phase two on integrating policy orchestration and creating a  common policy language, and phase three on “opening up Juniper’s EX Series and MX series products to third parties through APIs,” according to Burt.

Nevertheless, with Juniper’s investors demanding more money and that costs be cut, pressure on Juniper appears to be building, as the company announced layoffs totaling 6% of its workforce in April. It remains to be seen if this deal with Aruba and the new leadership of Kheradpir, who started in January of this year, will be able to right the ship, so to speak.

To read Jeffrey Burt’s original piece over at eWeek, click here.

Doug Atkinson
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