Juniper Takes Two: Peribit & Redline

Making the anticipated dive into WAN acceleration, Juniper makes offers to buy Peribit and Redline

April 27, 2005

4 Min Read
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Taking the expected step into deeper enterprise/WAN territory, Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) today announced not one, but two acquisitions, picking up Peribit Networks Inc. and Redline Networks Inc. (See Juniper to Buy Peribit, Redline.)

Juniper has bid $337 million and $132 million for Peribit and Redline, respectively, and the deals are expected to close in the second half of 2005.

For several quarters now, analysts have speculated on what Juniper might acquire next, figuring the company would want to strengthen its enterprise arsenal after the successful $4 billion pickup of NetScreen Technologies. A stronger enterprise portfolio would give Juniper the ammunition needed to battle Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) on its home turf (see Juniper Buys NetScreen, Juniper's Slow Shopping Trip , and Valley Wonk: Juniper's Shopping List).

It now appears those theories were pointed in the right direction, although Juniper threw the industry a curve with the surprise acquisition of session border controller vendor Kagoor Networks (see Juniper to Acquire Kagoor).

Peribit and Redline provide technology to accelerate Web and WAN applications, and both will help Juniper with its mission of becoming a "traffic processing" specialist, Juniper CEO Scott Kriens said on a conference call with analysts today. The problem is that most applications were written with a local user in the mind. "Long ago that user left the building," Kriens says.As enterprises have tried to connect applications with increasingly remote users, the result has been a kludge of Web interfaces and remote-access scenarios that's worsened the performance of applications and opened gaping security holes in enterprise networks, says Kriens.

"Since the applications can't change, and the business client for a global network can't change... the network must step in and become much more aware of the applications," Kriens says. This, of course, is the mantra preached by the Juniper-led Infranet Initiative, which aims to make the network intelligent enough to support applications with the appropriate levels of security and quality of service (QOS).

Juniper won't discuss the potential revenues of the two acquisitions, and Kriens deferred all money-related questions to the company's next earnings release in July.

So, is Juniper finished with acquisitions for now? "Not really an answerable question," Kriens said on the call.

Getting into the specifics of Juniper's new toys: Peribit is one of a number of vendors offering technologies to boost application performance over a wide area network (WAN). The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor recently overhauled its core Perisphere architecture, and has been constantly adding hardware to its product line. Late last year, the firm was cited as one of Silicon Valleys fastest growing private companies (see Peribit Intros App Acceleration, Peribit Touts Product, Partnership, and Assemblywoman Applauds Peribit).Redline’s story centers on what it describes as Application Front End (AFE) technology –- a range of devices for accelerating Websites and applications such as SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), and Siebel Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: SEBL). The Campbell, Calif.-based firm has already racked up some big-name customers, including Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), ABC News, and PBS (see Redline Wins With PBS).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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