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Juniper, Riverbed Announce Joint Product Development Deal

Industry followers will agree that it hasn't been a great year for either Juniper or Riverbed. Riverbed missed earning expectations in both January and April, and particularly since April it has seen its stock price hammered. The company has lost 38% of its value year to date. For its part, Juniper missed its number in April, too, and along with the rest of the networking industry has been on a slide since then. Juniper has lost 27% of its value year to date. With that backdrop, it's not all that surprising that the companies have been exploring ways to work together for mutual benefit.

To that effect, the two announced a product development deal yesterday that will see Riverbed application delivery control technology running virtualized on Juniper multiservice routers, presumably the M series. In that part of the deal, Juniper will pay Riverbed about $75 million over four years, starting at $3 million per quarter and eventually increasing to $5 million per quarter.

The second part of the deal calls for the companies to work jointly to integrate Riverbed's Steelhead Mobile technology into Juniper Pulse. Pulse is software for mobile devices and tablets that provides network access and security. With the addition of Steelhead mobile, Pulse will get performance optimization capabilities for environments that run Steelhead technology in their data centers.

The announcement comes along with fairly good news for Riverbed investors--the company's earnings per share beat analyst estimates by a couple of cents, and year-over-year revenue increased 16.5%. Juniper's earning report was mixed, with the company beating analyst targets by 3 cents. Revenue was down slightly, but its second-quarter income fell 50% on weak results in Asia and Europe.

Eric Wolford, Riverbed's executive VP of products, said he expected products from the deal to show up in 2013, and that the companies were considering other joint development deals.

Juniper acquired WAN optimization/ADC vendors Peribit and Redline in 2005, but the company has had little success in the market. For its part, Riverbed doesn't have the integrated big iron offerings that Juniper does, so the deal should be a win for both companies.