Juniper and Aruba Networks Partner for WLAN

Networking vendors Juniper and Aruba are partnering on wireless LAN (WLAN) technologies under a deal announced this week. The move could help accelerate the WLAN business for both vendors.

Details on the partnership at this point are still evolving in terms of actual product deliverables, though the plan is for a deep level of engagement that goes beyond a typical OEM deal.

“The financial terms for this agreement are not being disclosed,” Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks, told Enterprise Networking Planet. “What I can say is that the partnership is focused both on joint development and integration between Juniper wired infrastructure and Aruba wireless, as well as joint go-to-market execution with customers and common resellers.”

Aruba is no stranger to partnering with networking vendors for wireless gear. Back in 2010, Aruba entered into an OEM arrangement with Dell. Gibson noted, however, that the Juniper deal is not an OEM partnership but rather joint development and a go-to-market relationship with Juniper.

“Aruba’s strategy is to work with partners focused on open-based campus and data center switching architectures to deliver mobility-centric solutions for our customers,” Gibson said. “The partnership with Juniper has a distinct focus on campus wired and wireless networking.”

Trapeze WLAN

A big question that needs to asked about the Juniper/Aruba partnership is where it leaves Juniper’s Trapeze WLAN business. Juniper acquired Wi-Fi vendor Trapeze Networks for $152 million in 2010 in a bid to improve its WLAN portfolio.

Dhritiman Dasgupta, senior director of marketing at Juniper Networks, told Enterprise Networking Planet that Juniper is committed to its WLAN business and is actively working with customers and partners to deploy Juniper wireless solutions. That said, he noted that Juniper recognizes that enterprise customers today want flexibility to deploy best-of-breed network solutions.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Aruba to offer customers access to converged network solutions built on the best products from both vendors,” Dasgupta said.

From a larger perspective, Aruba is now the first partner for Juniper’s new open converged framework. Dasgupta said that Juniper believes the new open framework approach will be valuable to multiple audiences, including technology partners like Aruba and others, developers and even customers.

“For Aruba specifically, as we looked at our strength in switching and market leadership from Aruba, it was a partnership that made sense,” Dasgupta said. “We felt the open stance both companies embrace would help free customers from vendor lock-in they face today.”

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

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