Juniper jumps onto WAN optimization

Customers are struggling to keep pace with an aggressive shakeup that is unfolding in a crowded and intensely competitive networking market.

Juniper Networks' recent buying spree which began with Netscreen Technologies 12 months ago and more recently WAN optimization vendor Peribit and applications provider Redline, has Juniper shaping up to go head-to-head with rivals Cisco and Packeteer.

Armed with $US1.1 billion in cash Juniper is using its financial muscle to acquire a swag of new customers, but users are hoping there is no disruption to service and support as the vendor consolidates its new purchases.

Frost & Sullivan senior analyst Foad Fadaghi said Juniper's timing is perfect because most companies are tackling IT refreshes and making investments in their core architecture.

"Juniper's goal is to take on Cisco and I can anticipate more acquisitions this year from both Juniper and Cisco," he said.

Peribit customers are confident Juniper will not make any changes to the technology it has acquired.

Netsolutions CEO Theo Dimopolous believes it will actually enhance the Peribit product because Juniper has the financial clout to increase research and development.

"If you let Peribit products do application acceleration and let Cisco do routing then you have a happy marriage," he said.

Peribit customer and IT manager for textiles importer Zedtex, Andrea Nicholas, wants no changes to the product.

"Peribit gear just does what it is supposed to do and no owner would want to change that reputation among users," she said.

As for support, a spokesperson for the NSW Ambulance Service said there has been no degradation in service quality since the acquisition was announced.

However, BOC Edwards technical services manager Martin Cox has some reservations, although he does like the idea of one company controlling both Peribit and Redline technology.

"But Peribit has had a roadmap that's very aggressive and it's delivered. Does this acquisition mean stagnation?" he asked.

Cox is concerned about what will happen with the Peribit and Redline technology together and doesn't want it winding up in routers. "If they turned it into a fancy router and it cost the same as Peribit, I won't care. If it costs more, I won't be very happy," he said.

Globally, Juniper has picked up 900 Peribit customers and 350 Redline customers.

A Peribit spokesperson in Australia said there are about 80 customers locally affected by the acquisition.

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