Vendor is buying 128 Technology to create a more intelligent SD-WAN
Juniper Networks is adding to the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities it inherited when it bought Mist Systems last year with plans to acquire 128 Technology to drive AI deeper into its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) offerings.
The Lowdown: Juniper this week said it will pay $450 million for 128 Technology, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, in a deal that’s expected to close in the networking vendor’s fiscal fourth quarter. It comes more than a year after Juniper bought Mist for $405 million.
The Details: Juniper wants to leverage 128 Technology’s products to create a more intelligent networking environment that’s more responsive to customer needs. Organizations and service providers can make decisions based on real-time user sessions and business policies rather than static network policies that are configured on a per-tunnel basis. The result will be better performance and scale at lower costs than what enterprises now see in traditional WAN router and SD-WAN offerings.
Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper will fold 128 Technology into its AI-Driven Enterprise business unit, which includes wired and wireless access and SD-WAN, all of which is based on Mist AI. Juniper plans to create a unified platform that users can leverage from client systems to the cloud.
The vendor will bring together 128 Technology’s Smart Session networking platform with the Mist-based campus and branch solutions. The platform comprises two components:
> 128T Session Smart Router: Includes a control plane and a session-aware data plane that offers IP routing, policy management, visibility, and proactive analytics.
> 128T Conductor: A centralized management and policy engine that delivers orchestration, administration, zero-touch provisioning, monitoring, and analytics for distributed Smart Session Routers. It ensures a network-wide multi-tenant service and policy data model.
Future plans include integrating 128 Technology’s products with Juniper’s WAN Assurance software, the portfolio of branch SRX next-generation firewalls, and the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant, which are all powered by Mist AI. It will drive more advanced AI-based WAN capabilities, including customizable service levels, proactive anomaly detection, fault isolation with recommended corrective actions, self-driving network operations, and AI-driven support.
Combining Juniper’s Connected Security technology with 128 Technology products will enable zero-trust access, next-generation firewalls, web and content filtering, real-time threat intelligence, and advanced threat protection.
The Impact: In a data-centric and highly distributed IT environment that stretches from client systems and the data center into the cloud and edge, the network becomes the key component not only for moving workloads and data but also for ensuring performance and security. Expanding the use of AI in its networking portfolio will enable Juniper customers, service providers, and channel partners to better drive their digital transformation efforts and adapt to a world that’s more mobile with billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices creating massive amounts of data.
Background: Juniper, a 24-year-old company with more than 9,400 employees and more than $4.4 billion in revenue, has been leveraging Mist’s technology to drive AI throughout its portfolio. It also has been bringing its partners along, with specializations, rewards, and a sales enablement curriculum focused on AI and the cloud and a Mist-based analytics service available through VARs and MSPs.
The Buzz: “The acquisition of 128 Technology will enable Juniper to accelerate in a key area where we are seeing enormous success – the AI-driven enterprise,” Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said. “Both companies share a common vision of putting user experiences above all else and leveraging automation with proactive actions to simplify IT operations. With 128 Technology, we are adding a highly differentiated technology into our award-winning arsenal of campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI to deliver even more customer value while further accelerating Juniper’s continued growth in the enterprise.”
“128 Technology has brought to market a groundbreaking session-based routing solution that gives rise to experience-based networking. This allows our customers to realign their network with the requirements of a digital future that includes cloud, mobility, and virtualization,” said Andy Ory, co-Founder and CEO of 128 Technology. “The combination of our Session Smart Router with Juniper’s AI-driven enterprise portfolio, expansive channel, and world-class support will dramatically accelerate our vision to transform networking and make a big impact on a very large, yet still highly under-served, WAN-Edge market.”