Kriens contends that neither front-end technology nor WAN optimization are fully developed enough to compose a full-scale application acceleration market. Such a definition is "not sufficient because on top of the performance of the application is the need to integrate security and the routing infrastructure," he said. As a result, Juniper prefers the term "application assurance." But for a competing company, FineGround Networks Inc., the Juniper acquisitions are the best thing that could have happened to the technology sector, said Jay Mellman, marketing vice president with FineGround, based in Campbell, Calif.Junipers move can only help lead FineGrounds business "on a really good path," said Mellman. At the same time, Mellman said he didnt feel jealous or disappointed that Juniper didnt make an offer to his company. FineGround is a privately held maker of application acceleration technology. Its latest product is a network appliance called Velocity that combines FineGrounds performance optimization software for Web applications with its performance monitoring software. To read about Junipers acquisition of voice-over-IP technology producer Kagoor Networks, click here. While the other company mainly focused on selling its products to service providers, FineGround focuses on selling its products to corporate data centers, Mellman said. The companys customers include the U.S. Army, the British Royal Post Office, Cargill Corp. and Whirlpool Corp. Mellman said FineGround, founded in 2000, isnt looking for a buyer and has sufficient business and venture funding to continue as an independent company. But like any company, FineGround will do whatever it takes to maximize shareholder value, he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
"We think it will validate the market space in a big way," Mellman said. "When a company the size and scope of Juniper" makes a major acquisition in a technology sector, "it packs tremendous clout," he said.