Another domino has fallen in the SD-WAN sector with Monday's news that Juniper Networks is buying 128 Technology for $450 million.
While Juniper has its own SD-WAN offering, it has struggled to find traction in the marketplace. With 128 Technology's "Session Smart" routing and zero trust security, Juniper Networks can offer managed service providers and enterprises the ability to create a secure fabric for WAN connectivity.
"Juniper hasn't been able to break in to the SD-WAN space as other vendors have so far," said Frost & Sullivan's Roopa Honnachari, industry director, information and communications technologies, in an email to FierceTelecom. "So the acquisition should definitely help the company better position itself in the enterprise SD-WAN market.
"Additionally, the focus on router-centric networking is very complementary to Juniper's portfolio and the growing trend we are seeing in terms of SD-WAN solutions replacing enterprise routers wherever possible."
Juniper plans to blend 128 Technology into its artificial intelligence-driven enterprise network portfolio, which includes wired and wireless access and SD-WAN, by combining it's Session Smart routing capabilities with its campus and branch solutions that use its Mist AI.
Under the terms of the deal, Juniper Networks will acquire 128 Technology for $450 million, subject to customary adjustments, payable in cash and the assumption of outstanding equity awards. Juniper has "also coordinated for 128 Technology to issue retention focused restricted stock units, which will be assumed by Juniper."
The deal is slated to close in Juniper's fiscal fourth quarter once it clears customary closing approvals and conditions.
After buying wireless LAN vendor Mist early last year, Juniper has been integrating Mist's AI capabilities across its LAN, WLAN and WAN products and services to improve end-to-end optimization. In July, Juniper announced it had integrated the Mist AI engine into its SD-WAN offering for better insights and automation.
"The acquisition of 128 Technology will enable Juniper to accelerate in a key area where we are seeing enormous success – the AI-driven enterprise,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks, in a statement. “Both companies share a common vision of putting user experiences above all else and leveraging automation with proactive actions to simplify IT operations. With 128 Technology, we are adding a highly differentiated technology into our award-winning arsenal of campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI to deliver even more customer value while further accelerating Juniper’s continued growth in the enterprise.”
Consolidation a go-go
Juniper's deal to buy 128 Technology marked the latest round of consolidation in the SD-WAN sector. Earlier this year, Palo Alto Networks struck a deal for CloudGenix and HPE bought Silver Peak to mix into its Aruba portfolio.
In a recent interview with FierceTelecom, GigaOm analyst Chris Grundemann said Versa Networks and 128 Technology topped his list of SD-WAN vendors that could be acquired.
"Much of the 128 Technology management team has been working together for decades designing leading-edge communications and networking solutions," Grundemann wrote in his report. "They are a forward-thinking organization, designing the next generation of software-defined networking technology."
According to Crunchbase, 128 Technology was founded six years ago and has raised close to $68 million to date.