Juniper Networks Inc. says that its layoffs of 500, roughly 5 percent of the company, are not targeting QFabric or any other product line in particular.
The company acknowledged Friday (Sept. 28) that it's making the cuts. Speculation had been that the QFabric team was particularly hard hit, but a spokeswoman told Light Reading on Monday that that's not the case.
Rather, the changes are across the company and don't focus on any one organization, she said. A more formal statement for the press explains it thusly:
Our actions to reduce operating expenses fall across our support functions, including supply chain, procurement, SG&A, as well as R&D. They are being carefully planned and managed to maximize efficiencies in our cost structure while preserving the investments in innovation in our core businesses of data center, routing, switching and security.
The QFabric theory didn't make sense in the first place, analyst Simon Leopold of Raymond James Financial Inc. wrote in a note issued Monday.
"We believe Juniper is in the process of adjusting its QFabric marketing and product strategy to address the long-term shift towards SDN [software-defined networking]. Staff cuts would therefore come as a surprise," Leopold wrote. The note was published before Juniper's new statement came out.
QFabric sales were expected to be rather slow, because the product originally targeted the largest data centers. But in the time since Juniper introduced QFabric in February 2010, SDN has taken hold in the industry's consciousness and might be giving pause to some customers, Leopold writes.
Juniper officials argue that QFabric actually counts as SDN. QFabric is a data-center fabric that behaves as if it were one giant switch sitting in the core, and it uses a distributed control plane, like most SDN implementations do.
Separately, Juniper announced Friday that Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has completed a data center based on the full QFabric architecture (which is more formally called the QFX3000-G QFabric System). Qihoo is a security software vendor based in China.
â€” Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading