At Juniper’s recent Global Partner Conference, the company unveiled seven new technology categories, aimed at putting the network vendor’s rapidly expanding product categories into context for customers and partners. The seven "domains" as Juniper calls them, include: campus and branch, data centre, service provider core, service provider edge, access and aggregation, WAN, consumer and business devices.
Noticeably absent from its list of domains was security; I'll get to that in a second.
Juniper’s go-to-market strategy with partners is to provide detailed mappings of products and solutions around these seven domains. This domain approach should help address the past perception of Juniper as being a collection of point products without an overarching architecture view or broad portfolio.
As I said, security was not a single domain Juniper called out explicitly. However, I think this is a good thing. Defining security as one of Juniper’s domains would have confused customers and partners, and trivialised Juniper’s security offerings overall. Enterprises get how to deploy WANs, data center, campus and branch networks... but how and where to deploy security is increasingly a fuzzy issue.
Digging into any of the seven domains, as I had the chance to do at the partner event, it’s evident that Juniper made security foundational to each one. This is the anti-bolt-on strategy. From data centre to WAN, mobile and the other domains, Juniper has detailed plans around what the role of security will be, and specifically, which products are involved. This is important as Juniper’s domain and portfolio-based strategy will compete with more product-diverse vendors, including HP, Symantec, McAfee and of course, Cisco.mk,
Harnessing Juniper’s expansive portfolio into architectural categories or domains was somewhat overdue. In the past five years, the number of product categories offered has grown to 20, including such areas as Ethernet switching, mobile security, WLAN, data centre fabric, network silicon, network programmability and network orchestration.
This is nearly a seven-fold increase compared to the days when Juniper offered only edge and core routers and security products.
Point products still matter to Juniper, and from conversations I had, the company will not back away from building and marketing the best routers, switches and firewalls it can. (The consequences of taking an eye off the ball with regards to point-products was also evident at the Juniper event, as there was much buzz around recent performance troubles of its SRX firewall platform).
It will be interesting to see how well Juniper can walk the fine line of executing on its larger domain strategy, while keeping product performance and quality high. This will be critical as it goes up against other large infrastructure competitors with large portfolios and broad-reaching security strategies, such as Cisco and HP.
Posted by Phil Hochmuth