4 comments on “HPE Buys Juniper

  1. Thank your for the story, Jeff. That was great!

    My experience with Juniper started in 2014 when my employer was having trouble winning deals for campus networking because Cisco wouldn’t give better pricing. We were definitely too small to compete, and I don’t blame Cisco, so my employer decided to go with Juniper for enterprise switching.

    What a paradigm shift it was for us engineers who came from the IOS world, and it was also around that time that Juniper decided to start going back into the enterprise market. The sales engineers tried to sell us on how cool QFabric was and all these other datacenter and service provider technologies were, but we were campus networking and small datacenter guys; that stuff wasn’t what our customers needed.

    The biggest obstacle we faced was trying to do campus networking with Juniper because, frankly, most Juniper engineers were SP-focused, and enterprise switching documentation and troubleshooting was difficult to come by, especially since they switched all EX and QFX to ELS. We had to learn the hard way, digging deep into documentation, experimenting and learning how spanning tree actually needed to be deployed, how to do dot1x, etc.

    Then Mist was acquired. It changed the game for campus networking, and in 2019 I got to help out and do some beta work with wired assurance and provide feedback about configuration approaches and I got to evangelize to the Mist product owners how awesome interface-ranges were (which the Juniper SP engineers out there scoffed at me and told me to use groups, but I digress).

    The Mist team was awesome to work and collaborate with. They’re exciting people to work with, and gave me hope once again and Juniper enterprise switching could be awesome.

    In the end, Mist actually made Juniper better.

    So while I was initially pessimistic about HPE buying Juniper, after reading and listening to other perspectives and reflecting on my experience, I feel better about this acquisition. If done correctly, this could be better for both HPE and Juniper.

    (That said, when Juniper bought Mist, they didn’t have a competing wireless service to Mist, so the Aruba-Mist friction that will develop is something I’ll be watching closely).

    • Thanks, Mist was definitely a brilliant acquisition for them. I’ve had a lot of experience with acquisitions poorly integrating with existing products here at Cisco, so it will be interesting to see how they approach integrating Mist with Aruba. Both are very strong product lines. Huge challenges ahead for them!

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