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January 9, 2024
Juniper’s portfolio includes routing, switching, Wi-Fi, network security, AI-enabled enterprise networking operations (AIOps) and software-defined networking (SDN).
The WSJ noted that the acquisition of Juniper would bolster HPE’s artificial intelligence (AI) offerings. Juniper acquired Mist Systems in 2019, introducing AI to Juniper’s cloud-managed wireless network. Mist has since become the jewel in Juniper’s crown and often cited as a key differentiator against its competitors.
Matthew Ball, chief analyst at Canalys, told Channel Futures that the potential acquisition will give HPE a significant advantage in the market.
Canalys' Matthew Ball
"If the acquisition does close, HPE will gain a significant service provider networking business, not just from a portfolio perspective but also commercial relationships with many of the tier 1 service providers. Juniper will also broaden HPE's data center switching portfolio, including Apstra for multi-vendor support/automation, gain its own silicon, and pushes it deeper into security with firewalls, SSE and threat detection.
"But there is a huge overlap between Aruba's and Juniper Mist's campus portfolio, though little overlap of partners," Ball added. "Juniper has made significant gains in the campus networking space, often displacing Cisco and HPE Aruba. This will be a key area for customers and partners to understand future plans and road maps.”
HPE is targeting three areas of the AI market: supercomputing. AI infrastructure and AI software platform.
In 2023 HPE acquired five businesses to accelerate strategy and enhance its capabilities.
“We maintain particular interest in investment that helps us innovate and grow profitably at the edge, in hybrid cloud and AI,” said Justin Hotard, HPE’s EVP and GM of high-performance computing, AI and labs, in October 2023. “We will continue to be opportunistic in making beneficial and accretive acquisitions while following our disciplined, return-based framework and ensuring integration success.”
Neither company has responded to requests for comment so far, which is common when deals are merely speculation.
A merger announcement between the two could come as early as this week, the source told Reuters.
Shares of HPE fell 7.7%, while Juniper jumped 21% in extended trading.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.
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