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The Real Comeback Kid: Networking

An incredible comeback... a stunning victory... and a huge leap in the numbers. No, we're not talking about corn-fed politics. We're talking about Juniper Networks' latest financial report, a monetary landslide that spurred investors to add $7 per share to Juniper's stock last Friday in boom-era fashion.

While we know better than to try to predict the stock market, Juniper's report and the corresponding lift
to all networking boats is just another clue that a real recovery is taking shape. While pent-up demand at large telcos is most likely responsible for Juniper's latest bump, there is growing evidence that more enterprises are looking at (and buying) high-end gear that was once only considered worthy of an RBOC budget.

In our Q & A with Foundry Networks' Chandra Kopparapu, he says the idea of load balancing isn't new to the industry in general, but as powerful gear like Layer 4-7 switches drops in price, it finds more potential users. And even small networks can generate enterprise amounts of networked information, even with something as simple as vacation pictures.

Can the networking mini-boomlet continue? We'll keep looking for hints of more momentum at the upcoming primary stops, including next week's Comnet trade show in DC, as well as Cisco's quarterly report on Feb. 3, when customers will really show whether they're voting with their dollars.