Data Center Interconnect

Juniper Closes BTI Acquisition to Beef Up DCI

Juniper has closed its acquisition of BTI to beef up its data center interconnect and metro packet optical transport technology and services. The deal makes Juniper into a tougher competitor in a market that's getting brutal.

BTI is -- or was -- a provider of cloud and metro network technology to content, cloud and service providers.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) hopes the acquisition will enhance its abilities to provide network automation, to ensure "that the network dynamically adjusts to the needs of the business [rather than the business adjusting to the needs of the network]," according to a blog post Monday by Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, Juniper Development and Innovation.

BTI's line complements Juniper's IP and Ethernet products, adding improved optical capabilities, optical network management and automation software, Davidson says. Juniper plans to incorporate those capabilities as well as BTI's team into its switching and routing line.

Cloud and content networks need those kinds of products and services as demand grows for content sharing, video streaming, social networks and other bandwidth-intensive applications, Davidson says.

"Customers need a better way to manage the increasing bandwidth demands for high-speed interconnectivity between data centers, access networks and peering points," he says.

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When announcing the deal in January, Juniper and BTI were hush-hush about the terms and conditions, but Juniper disclosed the price in its annual report published last month as "(i) approximately $65.0 million in cash (inclusive of debt) plus cash on hand at closing and (ii) the assumption of restricted stock units outstanding at closing." That's about the same amount that BTI raised between 2011 and 2015. (See What Juniper Paid for BTI.)

The combined company faces competition that's mean, ruthless, big and getting bigger. After Juniper announced it in January, a bomb went off in the DCI market. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) -- one of the biggest buyers of DCI products -- and Inphi Corp. announced an alternative R&D collaboration. For links shorter than 80 kilometers between data centers -- Microsoft's "sweet spot" -- the two companies are developing a new module that plugs directly into data center switches and eliminates the need for a dedicated DCI box. (See Microsoft Drops a Data Center Interconnect Bombshell and Inphi Debuts Data Center Interconnect Gamechanger.)

And Juniper's competition is growing. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. gets stronger by the day, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has acquired Alcatel-Lucent, and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is working on a broad and deep partnership with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). Juniper is getting more muscular in response -- but maybe not enough. (See Juniper Buying BTI: Is That Enough?)

Perhaps this montage of movie training montages will help Juniper get in shape to remain competitive:

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