HPE to acquires Juniper Networks

HPE goes all in on $14 billion Juniper Networks deal

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The mega acquisition of Juniper Networks could help HPE assert dominance in the global networking market

Mumbai: In a move that threatens to alter the global networking market forever, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is acquiring Juniper Networks for a whopping $14 billion.

Juniper deal-seeking scale and scope

The deal, announced almost a month ago, comes at a time when enterprise networks are growing in both size and complexity at a furious pace.

New technologies like AI, cloud, and big data analytics are leading to newer avenues of data that previously didn’t exist. Data, which needs to be connected, protected and analysed.

HPE is betting that by offering an integrated portfolio spanning edge to cloud, they can help customers get a handle on this “explosion” of data and data sources across traditional enterprise networks.

In response to a query by TechHerald, HPE said that Juniper caught their eye given the strong technological fit, similar corporate cultures, and a lack of alternative acquisition targets of Juniper’s scale in the edge networking arena.

Once integrated, HPE plans to target high-growth segments like data centre infrastructure, security and routing – markets Juniper is all too familiar with.

Strategic and cultural fit

After the deal closes, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim will lead a new combined networking group that brings together assets from both companies. For HPE, Juniper Networks’ portfolio is a highly complementary combination that will enhance secure, unified, cloud and AI-native networking, encompassing edge-to-cloud to exascale.

HPE aims to gradually meld its existing networking solutions like Aruba with Juniper’s portfolio into a unified technology roadmap.

While specifics remain unclear at this moment, customers can expect minimal disruption to product support during this period of transition. Steve Schuchart Jr., Principal Analyst tracking enterprise infrastructure at GlobalData, suggests several factors are driving HPE’s mega-investment in Juniper.

For one, Juniper brings sophisticated AI capabilities for automating network operations—an area where HPE has been lagging a bit behind it. Additionally, Juniper boasts a complete line of data centre and telco-focused products that significantly broaden HPE’s addressable market reach. HPE also gains Juniper’s security offerings as networks and security functions continue to converge.

Unified networking entity

While the fate of HPE’s other big-ticket networking acquisition Aruba Networks remains unknown amid these new plans for a unified networking entity, Schuchart believes HPE will aim to minimise disruption.

“I think HPE will continue to support Aruba and Juniper customers, ensuring they get the value invested in existing product lines,” says Schuchart Jr.

Rather than an abrupt re-branding or portfolio overhaul, Schuchart expects gradual, evolutionary changes designed to retain existing customers. The GlobalData analyst also allays fears that HPE’s as-a-service push has reduced its emphasis on hardware and software innovation.

On the contrary, he says acquiring Juniper will significantly expand HPE’s hardware and software capabilities—particularly for cutting-edge areas like AI, data centre tech, 5G, and security. This strengthens HPE’s ability to offer fully integrated solutions rather than isolated point products.

Eye on the competition

US-based Constellation Research’s Principal Analyst and CEO Ray Wang agrees and notes two key drivers behind HPE’s big bet on Juniper. First, it allows HPE to compete more effectively with Cisco in the enterprise networking space and second, it provides HPE capabilities to reboot the 5G and telecom market.

“HPE can leverage Juniper’s 5G and O-RAN solutions to significantly enhance their as-a-service offerings like Green Lake, Edge Compute and SASE security which depend heavily on 5G delivery,” says Wang.

In conclusion, HPE is making a massive bet that networking lies at the heart of next-generation enterprise infrastructure. With the Juniper deal cementing HPE’s transition toward an everything-as-a-service model, customers can expect integrated, subscription-based offerings tailored to their growing connectivity requirements.

While short-term uncertainty exists around specific branding and rationalisation plans, HPE appears committed to minimizing disruption for existing Juniper and Aruba customers over the long haul.