Juniper Networks is hooking up with Riverbed Technology in a technology partnership in wide area network Relevant Products/Services optimization, application delivery and mobility. The goal is to deliver market-leading technologies in these areas.

The partnership comes as the application acceleration market moves toward more convergence between the network and application layers. By joining forces, Juniper and Riverbed hope to provide competitive solutions to enterprises that want to drive more efficiency in their IT infrastructures while also delivering better app performance across devices, networks and clouds.

"Riverbed's application acceleration and WAN optimization solutions will complement our strategic focus on delivering high-performance networking infrastructure Relevant Products/Services and further enhance our position in both data Relevant Products/Services center and consumer and business Relevant Products/Services device domains," said Bob Muglia, executive vice president of Juniper's Software Solutions Division. "Our joint efforts with Riverbed will enable us to push the future of application networking."

Closing the Data Gap

Under the terms of the agreement, Juniper Networks is licensing Riverbed's application delivery controller technology for about $75 million. Juniper said the technology will increase its capabilities in key network domains across the enterprise Relevant Products/Services, including in the data center, across WANs, and consumer and business devices through new application networking technologies that better manage, scale and optimize any application's use of the network.

Riverbed and Juniper will also launch a joint effort to integrate Riverbed's Steelhead Mobile technology into the Juniper Networks Junos Pulse client in a move to provide a mobile Relevant Products/Services acceleration solution for mobile phones and tablets. Both companies expect to strengthen their respective application acceleration solution and reduce total cost of ownership through the partnership.

"This multi-faceted partnership will allow us to expand our addressable markets by providing customers with integrated solutions that increase the efficiency of their IT infrastructure," said Eric Wolford, executive vice president and general manager for Products Group at Riverbed. "We'll work closely with Juniper to bring solutions to market that impact the performance of the entire enterprise and close the gap between data and the geographically dispersed people accessing that data from all around the world on various platforms."

Juniper's Second Chance

Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said hooking up with Riverbed was a good move on Juniper's part.

"In my mind there's really no such thing as a software Relevant Products/Services-defined network, which was a big part of VMware Relevant Products/Services's acquisition. It's really application-defined networks," Kerravala told us.

"A lot of people forget that Juniper acquired two companies in that space a couple of years ago -- Redline Networks and Peribit Networks -- and frankly wasted the technology. So instead of going out and trying to rebuild that, it was smarter to partner with the technology market leader in that area and leverage that product versus rebuilding it all themselves. This was almost a no brainer for them, having squandered their earlier opportunity."