Juniper Networks and Aerohive Networks are jointly developing a wired and wireless networking solution aimed at distributed enterprises that are wrestling with such trends as the consumerization of IT, cloud computing and the Internet of things (IoT) and the need for a secure and scalable network from the edge to the data center.
The two companies will create an interoperable enterprise offering that will include cloud-managed WiFi capabilities via Aerohive that combine with Juniper's networking products that will give businesses of any size with multiple remote locations an easy-to-manage wired and wireless solution that can be deployed in the cloud or on premises.
The Aerohive partnership is the latest alliance in Juniper's year-old Open Converged Framework initiative designed to offer customers best-of-breed networking technologies. Juniper also has partnered with Ruckus Wireless and Aruba Networks, which is now owned by Hewlett-Packard. Despite the acquisition, the partnership between Juniper and Aruba is still in place.
"Between BYOD [bring-your-own-device], SaaS [software-as-a-service] applications and a growing array of end user devices, the enterprise campus network is under continuous pressure to scale, remain secure, and be highly available," Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of development and innovation at Juniper, wrote in a post on the company blog. "Customers are increasingly relying on vendors to collaborate to increase visibility and simplify the management of customers' network infrastructure."
At the same time, "increasing levels of performance and bandwidth [are] required from wired access networks as 802.11ac and newer WLAN standards evolve. Our customers' need for an open and flexible wired and wireless solution in enterprise network infrastructure is more urgent than ever," Davidson wrote.
Other networking vendors are making similar pushes to offer integrated wired and wireless networking solutions through internal development—such as Cisco Systems—partnerships and acquisitions, such as HP's $2.7 billion purchase of Aruba earlier this year. Davidson said Juniper's approach is a differentiator because "enterprises are able to optimize application performance, enable mobility-centric security and policy, and reduce total cost of ownership by eliminating vendor lock-in."
The solution will include Aerohive's HiveManager platform, which brings centralized planning, management and analytics to wireless LANs, and can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises, giving customers flexibility. The offering also will include deploying Aerohive's 802.11ac WiFi access points with Juniper's EX Series Ethernet switches, Junos Space Network Director and SRX Series service gateways to create a scalable, secure and simplified converged wired and wireless platform.
Officials with both companies said they expect the new solution will help larger distributed organizations in such sectors as retail, K-12 education, and state and local governments, which run multiple remote locations and are looking for a platform not only to address the issues of an increasingly mobile workforce, but also to enhance their cloud-based analytics capabilities for data that is being generated through a growing range of devices, from notebooks to smartphones to IoT systems. High-end analytics will enable businesses to more quickly glean actionable information from the data being collected to help them become more efficient and to more rapidly develop the applications and services their workers and customers want.
The consolidation in the WLAN space has created an environment where there are end-to-end networking vendors like Cisco and HP, and WLAN specialists like Aerohive, Ruckus and Zebra Technologies, which are more niche players that find new ways to told old problems, according to Matthias Machowinski, research director for enterprise networks and video at IHS Infonetics. Vendors in both groups must find ways to keep growing in a highly competitive space, Machowinski said in a report last month.
"Specialists drive innovation, but once their period of hypergrowth is over, they must have a long-term plan to compete against much larger and entrenched vendors," he said. "Meanwhile, end-to-end networking providers can leverage the completeness of their portfolio and their installed base, but they cannot become complacent in their success—they must continue developing or acquiring new technology."
In a report in August, analysts with Dell'Oro Group said that in the WLAN space in the second quarter, Cisco was the dominant player with almost 50 percent of the revenue, followed by HP (with Aruba) with 20 percent and Ruckus with 7 percent.