Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has made another friend in the optical space, as it's teaming up with ADVA Optical Networking to develop...

Actually, Juniper claims the companies don't yet know what they're going to develop.

"We saw a set of capabilities that could be attractive," including ADVA's multiplexing technology and especially its ROADMs, says Mike Marcellin, Juniper's vice president of product marketing for infrastructure gear. "We are determining which ones could be a good fit."

The companies announced their partnership yesterday, with Juniper investing $3 million in ADVA to show that it's serious about all this. It seems like a token gesture, giving Juniper a 1 percent stake in ADVA. (See Juniper Invests in ADVA.)

None of this should affect Juniper's other optical partnership, with Nokia Networks . There, the companies have worked to let NSN's DWDM systems and Juniper's routers both be controlled by NSN's management system.

That's what Juniper is doing in lieu of building a packet-optical transport system (P-OTS). Juniper thinks carriers aren't interested in OTN switching -- which often comes up in discussions about how P-OTS will operate in the core. Rather, Juniper officials say, the core should be rife with MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), taking advantage of the statistical multiplexing that's possible there. That plan would require optical and MPLS gear to work together to allow for dynamic provisioning -- hence the work with NSN. (See NSN, Juniper Converge IP & Optical, Is Juniper Junior-Grade?, Does Juniper Need Packet-Optical?, and Juniper's Packet-Optical Spells M-P-L-S.)

Of course, Juniper's conviction won't stop NSN from hedging its bets. The company has announced an OTN switch for the hiT 7300. (See NSN Adds Packet-Optical Punch.)

Unlike Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper has no optical capabilities of its own. So, these kinds of partnerships are going to be important for Juniper as carriers get more serious about merging the packet and optical layers of their networks.

Juniper and NSN have a separate partnership for marketing carrier Ethernet equipment. That one doesn't involve any joint product development.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:30:47 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

I disagree with your assertion let me use actual companies to describe the problem:

1 - Bigger Partner:  NSN....so NSN will pitch Juniper products anytime they have a routing need.  Of course, the BS that Juniper said about optical not lowering the need for routing was humorous.  So, Juniper feels like its missing some revenue in routing because NSN is using its own gear in every possible location.


2 - Smaller Partner:  Adva...so now Juniper Sales guys will be pitching ADVA gear whenever they need an optical play.  Juniper will find that this dilutes their Sales Team's focus (do you give them commission for an ADVA sale?) or their Sales Team will ignore it (see what happens if you answer no to my previous paranthetical).



Bigger Partner - limited, Smaller partner - limited.  That is because these things are temporary and everyone INCLUDING the customer knows it.  Do you really pick ADVA because Juniper says to or because ADVA is what you wanted to pick?  What is the gain for the carrier?  Integrated Management?  What happens when the partnership disolves?  

The question you are really asking and avoiding is does a company have advantage by being able to sell products in both spaces.  To date the answer looks to be no.  The 2 biggest routing vendors are not really Optical players of any significance.  Same is true of the reverse.  The real pressure will come when either Alcatel or Huawei is able to sell routers truly head's up against Cisco and Juniper and win Tier 1 Core deals.  Until that time, this is a BD guys playtoy.



Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:30:47 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

As we've noted a few times before, it does seem important for Juniper to build up some optical partnerships.

Are ADVA and the current NSN work enough?  Or are there more holes in optical that Juniper needs to fill?

photon2 12/5/2012 | 4:30:45 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

It gives Juniper an option to add a ROADM to a product, that's it, with some folks to help.  ADVA still does not add anything to Juniper's portfolio for 100G transmission, still a big hole.  A step in the right direction since NSN has had little success in metro wdm networks, but Juniper has a long LONG way to go in this area to gain credibility.....


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:30:44 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Point taken.  In terms of the partnerships, too -- if all they do together is marketing, then you've really got a point.  Salespeople aren't always on board with these joint efforts.  NSN even has its own OTN switch for building a non-Juniper-philosophy optical network.  

What I'm expecting/hoping to see is joint product development, on the assumption that routers and WDM gear will start to merge together.  That assumption isn't a given, as you pointed out.

> The real pressure will come when either Alcatel or Huawei is able to sell routers truly head's up against Cisco and Juniper and win Tier 1 Core deals.

AlcaLu would argue that's already happening, so maybe the pressure is coming soon. But I'll admit, the 7750/7450 success to date doesn't have much to do with AlcaLu having an optical business.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:30:43 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Joint Development - so if you are Juniper and this is critical suddenly ADVA decides to go another way.  See the problem?

I don't see the two things merging.  I see them remaining separate.  Ethernet and WDM yes.  Routing no.


To Alcatel, they have lots of service router deals (U-verse as an example).  They would have to find a place where a 7750 beat out a CRS-1 in a core network at one of the top 10 carrier.  




^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:30:43 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Photon, actually, you are incorrect.  ADVA does have 100G transport solutions. Especially in the areas that Juniper is most interested in: large enterprise / campus and metro.

NSN covers the 100G extended metro, regional and long haul.

That is from a technology point of view.

However, Brookseven has several good points.  Neither Juniper NOR Cisco are optical players in any real sense of the word and the partnerships that Juniper has have all the weaknesses that Brook points out.


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:30:43 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

This covers it pretty much.  Unless Juniper wants to integrate transponders directly onto the line cards (long haul or metro dwdm &/or tunable).

Now customers may not like Adva's approach, but from a platform point of view, this covers juniper's needs mostly.

Missing is still a full WSS, but NSN is probably going to have that.

of more importance is the electronics needed to drive all the high speed 100G interfaces and to switch and route that much data per port.  But Cisco has this same problem as does Arista and others.

For transport and optical layer add / drop and switching, this covers it.


photon2 12/5/2012 | 4:30:34 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Thanks for the correction on ADVA 100G, I did not know.....could be a great asset for Juniper to grow their Enterprise biz even more!

But if NSN's 100G had possibilities they wouldn't be in such bad shape in AT&T and elsewhere, so I doubt that's a good solution for Juniper to pursue.  I maintain for long haul they still need some help, from a component vendor or system vendor.


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 4:30:29 PM
re: Juniper Finds Another Optical Partner

Photon, actually, NSN does quite a bit of business with ATT.  And their LH solution is quite nice.  

Regards your comment that you think Juniper needs a LH solution... if that is true of Juniper then it is equally true of Cisco.

And, if you think they need help, who would you suggest has the proper technology to help them?  Which LH supplier, or which component / module supplier?


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