Monday, December 24, 2012

New Kid on the Block

Juniper made a hefty investment last week with its acquisition of the little known startup: Contrail Systems. Contrail had been on the market for a mere two days before Juniper made its move to obtain it. The price paid by Juniper for the company was marked at $176 million, quite the price for such a young group. A purchase of this magnitude seems bizarre at first glance, but with the Software Defined Networking (SDN) work Contrail focuses on it becomes very apparent why Juniper decided to make this expenditure. SDN companies have become the hot new technology that everyone wants to get in on; Contrail is just one of many who have seen interest from big IT companies. Though, it could be said that this purchase looks like a defensive move by Juniper in response to VMWare’s attainment of Nicira (another SDN company) a few months back. By making this move, Juniper might be looking to keep up with this emerging technology.

Software Defined Networking, while still in its infancy, is getting some major attention from big networking players like Cisco, IBM, VMware and the like. Basically, SDN makes use of software that allows IT personnel to create a network they can reconfigure quickly and centrally without having to fiddle with individual hardware, which is both costly and time-consuming. This blossoming technology promises to offer companies significant savings by making their networking systems more efficient while at the same time cutting out the need for expensive routers and switches.

What this means for IT departments is more freedom to choose between vendor hardware. At Approved we are blown away by how many Arista coded SFP+’s we’re selling now in such a short period of time as they crush Cisco in most environments price per port. Arista doesn’t support a lot of L3 functions, no BGP, and no IPv6, but they seem to be disrupting Cisco and others on top of rack, large and small clients, international orders as well.

-The Approved Optics Team

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