Juniper Partners with Lenovo to Extend Data Center Reach

Juniper-Lenovo partnership could create more competition for other vendors and provide more choices for enterprises.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Mar 9, 2016
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Not every technology vendor has its own server hardware, while not every vendor has networking expertise. In a bid to bring those two domains together, Juniper Networks and Lenovo today announced a partnership that could have a profound impact on the IT market.

A Juniper spokesperson explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the relationship with Lenovo is a new one.

"Lenovo will have the ability globally to resell datacenter switches, Contrail software, security and routing products from the Juniper portfolio," the spokesperson explained. "No Lenovo products are being resold by Juniper as a result of this agreement."

Lenovo will have the ability globally to resell Juniper’s entire product portfolio. The spokesperson noted that Lenovo’s strength in data center will likely result in sales of datacenter switches and security and routing products, as well as associated management and orchestration software from the Juniper portfolio that complement its Converged and Hyperconverged offerings.

While the new partnership has a go to market and sales component, the agreement does not include any specific new product development.

"Lenovo and Juniper do intend to collaborate to enhance Lenovo’s Converged and Hyperconverged offerings by integrating Juniper’s networking and management products to develop solutions for the next generation data center of the future," Juniper's spokesperson said. "Lenovo intends to develop Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) Project-based switches, which will include Junos OS as a network operating system option."

The ONIE Project is part of the Open Compute Project (OCP), hosting its annual OCP U.S. Summit this week in San Jose. ONIE is part of the OCP's networking effort, first launched in May 2013 as a way to build vendor-neutral whitebox networking gear. What ONIE enables is essentially a bootloader that will allow an organization to choose which networking operating system to use, rather than being restricted to whatever firmware-based operating system a hardware vendor mandates.

In November 2015, Juniper announced its disaggregated Junos effort, which ties in directly with ONIE. Junos is Juniper's networking operating system, hardware-bound to Juniper devices since inception. With disaggregated Junos, Junos is now a target operating system that can be used by ONIE and can be installed on OCP compliant hardware.

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

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