Packet core

Juniper's Stratus, Falcon Go Beta

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR)'s high-profile Stratus and Falcon projects are in the hands of customers, CEO Kevin Johnson said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday. (See Juniper Reports Q4.)

Stratus, the company's ambitious data-center fabric, shipped in beta form to a "major customer" during the final three months of 2010, Johnson said.

And the first beta release of Falcon -- software that will let Juniper's MX 3D routers become an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks -- is complete and likewise shipped to a "major service provider" in the quarter.

Johnson said both products should begin generating revenues in the second half of 2011.

Why this matters
Juniper has been a Wall Street darling for most of the past six months, but the euphoria won't last if these two projects don't make the big splash that Juniper keeps promising.

Stratus, the more ambitious of the two, was first announced two years ago. Juniper keeps dropping hints about it, but the product launch was never going to be earlier than 2011. Stratus would compete against the Unified Computing System from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and the modestly named Brocade One from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD).

Juniper showed off Falcon at CTIA nearly a year ago. Plenty of rivals have EPCs, but Juniper particularly needs to have an alternative to router rivals Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and of course Cisco, which is perceived to have snatched Starent Networks away from Juniper.

For more
More on Stratus, Falcon and the competition they face:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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