Ex-Sun Storage Guru Jumps to Juniper

Storage veteran becomes Juniper's head of emerging technologies

March 27, 2008

2 Min Read
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Sun's microelectronics chief David Yen has jumped ship to Juniper Networks, underlining the increasing synergy between the worlds of WAN optimization and storage.

Sun confirmed Yen's resignation in a document filed with the SEC yesterday, and Juniper announced his appointment as executive vice president of its new emerging technologies division earlier today.

Prior to taking over Sun's microelectronics division almost a year ago, Yen was the vendor's storage chief, and he also headed Sun's Scalable Systems Group during his 20-year tenure at the company.

"There's a lot of synergy," says Juniper spokesman Mike Hakkert. "All of Yen's background and expertise will certainly lend itself to the direction that Juniper is moving in."

The last few months have seen booming demand for WAN optimization technology, with vendors under increasing pressure to build more functionality and features into their wares.Rival Riverbed, for example, recently highlighted the changing nature of WAN optimization by opening up its core operating system to third-party software services, including streaming media, IP address management, and security.

Juniper has also made a move in this direction, opening up its JUNOS software to partners and customers and partners late last year.

Reporting directly to Juniper's CEO Scott Kriens, one of Yen's first jobs will be to assemble an engineering team focused on emerging technologies.

"This team will consist of both current Juniper employees as well as focused engineering hires with specific experience that aligns to our emerging technology initiatives," explains Hakkert.

The spokesman would not reveal which specific projects the emerging technologies division is tackling, although Juniper recently boosted its data-center presence with a new family of EX series switches, code named Hurricane.Juniper is also ramping up its efforts in the WAN optimization space, recently overhauling its WX and WXC family of devices to accelerate SSL encrypted versions of applications such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft Sharepoint.

Service providers such as Verizon Business are already using the WXC hardware as the basis of managed WAN optimization services, and the emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) is also expected to drive demand for this type of technology.

Both users and vendors are now touting WAN acceleration as a way to reduce storage spending by boosting application performance, a trend Juniper is clearly looking to tap.

Another factor that likely featured in Yen's decision to leave Sun was his longstanding friendship with Juniper's CTO and founder Pradeep Sindhu. The former Xerox principal scientist has a close relationship with Sun, and his chip development work featured in the hardware giant's first high-performance multiprocessor systems, including the SS1000 and SS2000.

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  • Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP)

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.0

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