Staying on the right side of change

LightCounting reports from Juniper Networks’ annual user conference held in Las Vegas in October 2018.

uniper’s annual conference was first held in 2015 and it has been growing steadily in size. The attendance exceeded 1,000 in 2018, filling out a very spacious floor of the Mandalay Bay convention center in Las Vegas.

It was an energetic and productive event. Juniper products and customer support were praised in presentations given by customers and more importantly in many private conversations. Juniper announced several new products and partnerships at the show:

            Juniper Networks and Nutanix Partner for Improved Network Automation and Security

Juniper Networks Fosters Adoption of Network Automation

The vibe suggested that the company must be growing rapidly, but a quick look at their quarterly revenues points to a different picture. Juniper’s quarterly revenues are steady at about $1.2 billion. For comparison, Arista Networks is growing rapidly. Cisco’s quarterly sales are steady at around $12 billion.

Juniper sells routers, switches, security and software into three main market segments: Communication Service Providers (CSPs), Internet Content Providers (ICPs), which Juniper refers to as Cloud Providers, and Enterprises. The majority of the attendees at this event were Enterprise customers and this segment of Juniper’s business is doing well in 2017-2018.

The company is fighting an uphill battle against Cisco, which has dominated the enterprise networking equipment market for decades, but it is making progress. Experts claim that Juniper did a much better job than Cisco with their SDN and NFV software products. Customers appreciate Juniper’s efforts at helping them to transition their networks into the Cloud or even the MultiCloud era, as Juniper’s CEO Rami Rahim referred to it.

The term “MultiCloud” refers to a seamless operation of applications running over telecom networks, and in public and private Clouds. “Operating distributed resources as a single system with ease” was one of Juniper’s slogans at the event. “Declaring war on complexity” (and Cisco)- was another one. The best one was “Juniper solves super hard problems that change the world”. The message certainly resonated with the crowd of innovators at the event.

Software is taking on a key role in making networking simple and reliable. Abstracted, programmable, automated – this is one of the major changes that Juniper has to be on the right side of.

Juniper’s CTO Bikash Koley, who spent almost 10 years as a network architect at Google prior to joining Juniper in 2017, gave an inspiring presentation at the event. He is certainly bringing some of the Google culture of innovation to Juniper and proudly presented the time scale of the latest software innovations at the company with new releases spaced by 12-18 weeks (yes weeks not months).

In response to LightCounting’s question on their view of white box switching hardware and open source software, Bikash Koley responded: “We love it. I was behind many of these initiatives at Google and Juniper offers white box hardware and supports open source software interfaces. Designs of white boxes lag behind Juniper’s products, but we do not allow our engineers to touch them.”

This is another major change that Juniper is staying on the right side of. However, the company is certainly more excited about white box ROADMs and DWDM transport systems, where Juniper’s hardware business has less to lose.

Juniper’s recent acquisitions of BTI Systems and Aurion bring more optical talent into the company. It is very likely that Juniper will report on its progress in Silicon Photonics solutions at OFC 2019. This is yet another industry change that Juniper is on the right side of. Are you on the right side of Silicon Photonics?

If not, this is a link to LightCounting’s report on Silicon Photonics and other technologies for optical integration:

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LightCounting is a leading optical communications market research company, offering semiannual market updates, forecasts, and state-of-the-industry reports based on its analysis of primary research with dozens of leading module, component, and system vendors as well as service providers and other users. LightCounting is the optical communications market’s first choice source for the accurate, detailed, and relevant information necessary for doing business in today’s highly competitive environment. For more information, visit: or follow us on Twitter at @LightCounting.