Juniper Buys Trapeze to Bolster Wireless Networking Offerings

Juniper Networks is growing its WLAN capabilities through the $152 million acquisition of Trapeze Networks, which offers a host of solutions aimed at enterprise wireless efforts.

Juniper Networks is adding key wireless capabilities to its networking lineup by acquiring Trapeze Networks.

Juniper, a growing rival to Cisco Systems in the expanding networking space, announced Nov. 16 that it is buying Trapeze for $152 million from its parent company, Belden. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

Juniper officials said the addition of Trapeze's wireless LAN technology will be a key additon to their portfolio and help drive the company's push into the enterprise space. Trapeze's WLAN offerings will complement Juniper's routing, campus and branch switching, and security businesses, enabling Juniper to meet the demand for anywhere, anytime connectivity.

"One of the key challenges facing enterprises today is how to improve their users' experience and increase their productivity, regardless of location or device," David Yen, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's fabric and switching technologies business, said in a blog post. "At the same time, enterprises are seeking to simplify their networks and reduce TCO while ensuring end-to-end security. Our goal is to enable our customers to provide seamless, high-quality secure connectivity to key network services, regardless of where, when or how they access their networks. By making WLAN infrastructure a key part of our portfolio, we plan to accelerate Juniper's growth in the enterprise market and deliver on a complete vision for the new network."

Through the acquisition, Juniper will gain Trapeze's Smart Mobile WLAN architecture, which Juniper officials said offers enterprises greater flexbility in their networking infrastructures in both centralized and distributed environments. Businesses can adopt 802.11n networks, scale their WLANs in the enterprise both indoors and out, and offer high-quality voice services to hundreds of users.

Among the products Juniper will acquire are Trapeze's Mobility System software, Mobility Exchange controllers, Mobility Point access points, SmartPass access control solution, RingMaster wireless management suite, and a host of antennas, accessories, and location-based software and appliances.

The Trapeze technology will dovetail well with Juniper's efforts to simplify the network for enterprises, Yen said in his blog post. Juniper last year unveiled a strategy to flatten the data center network in an effort to streamline the infrastructure and enable enterprises to provide better service to their employees, drive down costs and improve productivity. Key parts of the effort include the Junos Pulse mobile security offerings, announced in February and bulked up in October, and Junos Space, a development and deployment platform the company first rolled out in October 2009.

"Combined with Juniper's Junos Pulse to help provide a seamless and secure user experience and Junos Space to simplify and automate the tasks of operating the network, the result will be a better delivered user experience at a lower cost," Yen wrote. "We believe that Juniper's strong history of technology execution combined with Trapeze's accomplished team ideally positions us to deliver end-to-end high-performance networking for the world's most demanding networks."

Juniper's acquisition comes at a time when networking vendors are aggressively building out their offerings as more enterprises move toward a converged data center infrastructure, which rely heavily on a strong networking backbone. Mobility will be a key part of the picture, as businesses are looking to enable their increasingly mobile workforce the capabilities to easily and securely access their networks from anywhere and through multiple devices. For example, Cisco has put its efforts under the "Borderless Networks" initiative.

Extreme Networks also is making similar inroads, and Hewlett-Packard has rapidly expanded its reach through the acquisition earlier this year of 3Com.

Market research firm Dell'Oro Group is predicting that the enterprise WLAN technology market will hit $2.2 billion this year and grow to $3.4 billion by 2014.