Juniper Acquires Trapeze in Wi-Fi Play

By Sean Michael Kerner

November 16, 2010

Juniper goes deep into enterprise Wi-Fi with $152 million acquisition as competition versus HP and Cisco heats up.

Juniper is expanding its networking portfolio with a $152 million acquisition of Wi-Fi vendor Trapeze Networks. With Trapeze, Juniper will enter into the competitive market against HP Networking and Cisco as a provider of both wired and wireless switching gear.

Juniper (NYSE:JNPR) is acquiring Trapeze from technology vendor Belden (NYSE:BDC) in an all-cash deal that Juniper expects to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"This will expand our end-to-end networking product portfolio and accelerate Juniper's growth into the enterprise market," David Yen, executive vice president and general manager, Fabric and Switching Technologies at Juniper Networks, told InternetNews.com.

Yen added that in his view, enterprise users want integrated wired and wireless solutions, which is what Juniper will aim to deliver with its new Trapeze assets.

Juniper intends to migrate the Trapeze brand name into Juniper over time. In terms of employees, Yen commented that he has high regard for the Trapeze team and Juniper plans on investing further to help the technology expand.

As to why Juniper chose to acquire Trapeze and not another wireless LAN vendor, Yen said Juniper has been a Trapeze customer for several years. He also said that Trapeze has intellectual property assets attractive to Juniper. According to Yen, Trapeze has been 17 granted wireless LAN patents, with 49 additional patents pending.

"In our assessment, their technology is also the most scalable and reliable, which fits into Juniper's vision as a high-performance networking provider," Yen said. "You take all these factors into consideration and we believe that Trapeze is the best fit for Juniper's requirements."

In addition to wireless LAN hardware, Juniper plans to integrate Trapeze's software into its JUNOS operating system as well.

"Their access points do not require the capabilities of JUNOS," Yen said. "The controller and management pieces are very complementary to Juniper's technology, so we are going to integrate it with JUNOS over time."

Yen added that in the near term, Trapeze's planning administration and management tools will be integrated with the JUNOS Space management software first, with other components to follow.

Juniper has been ramping up its mobile efforts this year with new security software for smartphone and infrastructure.

From a competitive perspective, both HP and Cisco have made strategic acquisitions over the years of wireless LAN vendors in order to build out end-to-end wired and wireless capabilities. With Trapeze, Juniper will now compete with them at an even deeper level than before.

"Both Cisco and HP are respectable companies," Yen said. "But we believe that Juniper is a very focused company and we have confidence in our engineering execution capabilities. We did this acquisition not just to be a major player in the wireless LAN space, but this is a very integral part of our new network vision and we are executing on our own vision to deliver the most seamless, reliable and high-performance routing, security, wired and wireless capabilities to our customers."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

Originally published on .

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