Juniper’s analyst event was a tour de force by any standard, and especially good for a company that has had problems communicating its value proposition in this kind of forum. Juniper related its position with confidence, made effective stories of its new programs and projects, showed empathy with the financial crisis but not paralysis by it, and in all, did everything it needed to do.
Juniper’s most significant utterances on the main day with financial analysts present, were focused around a new Network Instruction Set Processor (NISP) and the Stratus Fabric, Juniper’s new architecture for the data center. Juniper presented the new-gen NISP as a quantum leap in performance, a shift that will characterize the new generation of Juniper routing/switching products. Stratus is a concept and not yet a product, so there was no detail, but it seems clear that it is a new interconnect fabric designed to interface with but move beyond such familiar datacenter architectures as FiberChannel and Infiniband.
Juniper clearly realizes that the data center, cloud computing, virtualization, and other trends are all bring increased focus on how networks and computer resources couple among themselves. The timing of Juniper’s revelation, which promises quantum leaps in performance and latency, suggest that Juniper is deliberately moving to de-position Cisco’s incumbency and its aggressive goals in this space. It’s not clear whether the new NISP is part of Stratus, though it seems logical it would be.
Juniper also announced expansions to two product families, SRX and EX, taking both lines to a lower-end model group. In all, Juniper has made it clear that it is not surrendering to market conditions and will continue to move into new areas to prepare for the upturn.