June 19, 2006
Wireless LAN switching startup Aruba Networks has inked a partnership deal with networking big fish Juniper Networks to jointly sell and market WiFi security equipment to enterprise customers.
Aruba’s marketing VP, Keerti Melkote, says that the deal builds on his firm’s long association with security software provider Funk. Juniper bought Funk last November for $122 million. (See Juniper Gets Funky.)Melkote says that the pair has signed an interoperability agreement and will market combined product sets to each other’s customers. “Both of us will meet in the channel.”
Under the deal, Aruba will supply its wireless LAN controller and APs; Juniper will bring Funk client and server security software for both wired and wireless networks.
Melkote says that the pact could be beneficial for both companies in taking on Cisco, the partners' chief rival in this end of the market. "Cisco is the mutual enemy, so it made a lot of sense.”
Juniper is slowly but surely building out its wireless LAN strategy through these kinds of deals. In addition to offering a couple of home-grown WiFi products, it also has a deal with Meru for voice-over-wireless-LAN technology. On the carrier side, Juniper has a public access hotspot deal with Colubris, a company that has been particularly quiet of late.
The Aruba-Juniper deal is another sign of the changes in the WiFi security market. Startups initially rule the space, but Cisco and Juniper, along with IBM and others, have recently begun to jump in. Startups have been changing their tactics, and even merging, in order to compete more effectively.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung
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