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Juniper Building Out Linux Cloud Native Capabilities to Fuel Future Growth

400 gig, AI for WiFi and a new version of the Junos network operating system give Juniper's CEO room for optimism.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Oct 26, 2019
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Juniper is on the cusp of broadly rolling out a series of transformative technologies that will impact data transmission and cloud computing.

Juniper revealed part of its strategy during the company's third quarter 2019 financial results call with financial analysts on on Oct. 24. For the quarter, Juniper reported revenue of $1.13 billion for a 4% year-over-year decline. Net Income fell by 56% year-over-year- to $99.3 million. Looking forward, Juniper provided guidance for Revenue will be fourth quarter revenue of approximately $1.2 billion.

"While we remain on track to deliver a return to year-over-year growth during the December quarter, we are now expecting a lower level of growth than we previously anticipated," Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said during his company's earnings call. "The change versus our prior expectations reflects our belief that the Service Provider weakness we experienced over the last few quarters is likely to continue and that our enterprise momentum will moderate from recent levels based on the order trends we experienced this past quarter."

Service providers slipping

Rahim said that there are ongoing challenges that many of Juniper's carrier customers are facing. He noted that many service providers are choosing to run their networks harder, some are capital constrained and others have shifted resources to spectrum licenses and Radio Access Network (RAN) build-outs.

A key focus for Juniper is in the looming opportunity for 400 gigabit networks. Rahim commented that Juniper has started to deliver the systems, silicon and software needed to win hyperscale switching share for 400 gig deployments.

"The 400 gig opportunity will initially be in the data center interconnect and the data center switching opportunity and will eventually expand it to more use cases," he said.

Mist WiFi

Another area of growth for Juniper is with its Wi-Fi technologies, anchored by Mist. Juniper acquired Mist System in April for $405 million, bringing new artificial intelligence capabilities to help optimize Wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments.

Rahim said that the Mist customer base has grown 42% since Juniper closed the acquistion and doubled year-over-year.

"We believe we have just scratched the surface of Mist potential and we are investing to further monetize our existing customer base and capture new logos as the industry transitions to WiFi 6 and the AI driven enterprise," Rahim said. "The WiFi 6 refresh and Mist differentiator architecture is already enabling us to win wireless and wired opportunities we previously were unable to address and should present further tailwinds in the year to come."

Junos Linux for the Cloud

Another big area of future growth for Juniper is going to come from a new version of its Junos operating system. Rahim said that the new Junos operating system that has been designed very purposefully for the cloud provider space.

"So, it has all of the capabilities, the Linux native capabilities, the modularity, the programmability, the telemetry aspects of what we know our cloud providers need and want," he said. "We also have our very first systems based both on merchant silicon and custom silicon offerings that run that operating system and there will be more to come."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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