Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Interop Keynote: "Making Real Progress" - Juniper's Scott Kriens

In today's business climate, companies need to adapt their networks quickly without taking on added risks, said Scott Kriens, Chairman and CEO of Juniper Networks, in a keynote address at Interop in Las Vegas. The accelerated business cycle is both driven by the global networking revolution and threatened by the increased costs it requires. To meet this challenge, said Kriens, companies need "go virtual" with shared assets while maintaining control over their networks.

Is the industry consolidating?

Despite the growing number of mergers/acquisitions, "ultimately the answer is no", said Kriens, because natural technology boundaries will continue to segment the networking industry into four distinct segments: networked user devices, traffic processing devices, applications and their associated processing elements (servers, storage, etc), and network transmission equipment and facilities. Kriens believes that each of these categories requires unique expertise and that no one vendor will dominate all categories.

Further, Kriens argues that buyers are not better served by an "end-to-end" solutions provider. Citing research from Gartner, Kriens said corporate customers are best served by choosing a strategic vendor only for major initiatives. as this will lead to "lower costs, improved responsiveness and performance, and more open solutions." Juniper's strategy is to "focus and execute" on the industry segment where it can be that strategic supplier. One example he gave is "application performance," an area that drove Juniper's recent acquisitions of Redline Networks and Peribit Networks. A second area of focus for Juniper is the "dynamic security perimeter" now required for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, the proliferation of remote network users, and the escalation in both the volume and sophistication of hacker attacks.

No one really has all an end-to-end solution anyway, said Kriens, "and tens of billions of dollar have already been spent on multivendor networks." He contends that there is a need for industry collaboration rather than consolidation. Juniper's approach to this challenge is the "enterprise Infranet", where suppliers of end-point devices, traffic processing devices, applications/servers and network transmission come together to enhance the performance and security of open solutions. Kriens cited this week's partnership announcement with Avaya as an example where this approach can make a difference. Under the partnership, the companies will jointly develop converged solutions combining Avaya's enterprise communications with Juniper's security and routing strengths.

An archived webcast of the keynote is on Juniper's website.


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