Juniper Acquires Ankeena Networks


Juniper Thursday confirmed it will acquire Ankeena Networks, which makes software to optimize infrastructure for video and other forms of rich media content delivery.

Full financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to Juniper the likely price at the time of close will be less than $100 million.

According to Juniper, Ankeena's software portfolio will become part of Juniper's Junos Ready Software, a newer business group within Juniper that was formed in February and is home to Juniper's Junos Space network application platform and its Junos Innovation Ecosystem, an umbrella term for its Junos app developer community.

Privately held Ankeena was founded in 2008 and has been a strategic Juniper partner for the past six months.

The company's portfolio centers on Media Flow Director, a software appliance that through what Ankeena calls a "three-screen content delivery platform" offers the ability to deliver rich media content across PCs, TVs and mobile devices, a 10-to-1 reduction in the number of traditional servers needed to support that media, and a range of other quality-of-experience, admission control, bandwidth management and traffic functions.

According to Ankeena, the appliance runs on all standard x86-based servers and most SATA, SAS, SSD and NFS storage devices.

The most recent collaboration between the two companies was for Juniper Media Flow, one of three mobile infrastructure products Juniper unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February. The product itself uses Ankeena's software to ease congestion on mobile and fixed networks to promote higher-quality video and streaming to mobile devices.

Expect Ankeena's software to bolster other Juniper offerings in the future, the company said.

"The combination of Ankeena's new media infrastructure solution with Juniper's high-performance networking platforms will take our existing partnership to the next level to meet the bandwidth and cost of delivery challenges facing service providers as IP video continues to accelerate," said Manoj Leelanivas, executive vice president and general manager of the Junos Ready Software group, in a statement. "We are excited about Ankeena's technology and its talented team playing important roles in the future of Juniper Networks."

According to Juniper, all of Ankeena's senior management team, including its four founders -- President and CEO Rajan Raghavan, CTO and Strategy Officer Prabakar Sundarrajan, Chief Architect Jaspal Kohli and Vice President of Engineering Numar -- will join Juniper in various management capacities in the Junos Ready Software group. The exact nature of their new jobs wasn't identified.

"By joining with Juniper Networks, we will fully realize our corporate mission of driving the convergence between traditional entertainment media and the Internet," Raghavan said in a statement. "The combination of Juniper's high-performance networking products with Junos Software and Ankeena's highly scalable media delivery engine will result in solutions that accelerate the pace of innovation for online delivery of all content types."

Juniper executives were not available for additional comment Thursday afternoon.

Acquisitions have been rare for Juniper as of late, with CEO Kevin Johnson emphasizing a focus on R&D as opposed to buying companies. Juniper's last major acquisition was in December 2005, when it acquired Funk Software for $122 million.

In October 2009, Juniper expanded its chipset, router and software portfolios to expand the reach of Junos, the much-touted software platform Johnson has described as key to Juniper's growth.