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Symantec and Juniper: An Unequal Partnership

This September, Symantec and Juniper Networks announced a partnership to strengthen both companies' presence in the security market, including within the unified threat management (UTM) arena. However, the relationship is lopsided because Symantec stands to gain the most with the least risk.

Symantec will now discontinue its own UTM appliances and recommend Juniper's instead. A loss for Symantec? Not really. UTM appliances require customized hardware, which Symantec admits is not a core competency. UTM primarily chases cost-conscious small and midsize companies, and an intensely crowded market--which includes Astaro, Cisco Systems and SonicWall--keeps prices low.

Through this deal, Symantec steps aside to let Juniper slug it out in a low-margin business while keeping license revenue from Juniper's UTM sales. Nice move. --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]