Rich media content delivery, including video, depends upon network infrastructure robust and flexible enough to support it, but efficient enough to make it worth the investment. It's with that idea that Juniper said it saw a great fit in Ankeena Networks, the startup it's in the process of acquiring.
Juniper confirmed the acquisition Thursday, offering no financial details except that it expects the transaction price to be less than $100 million at time of close.
Ankeena, a two-year-old startup, makes software to optimize network infrastructure for better rich media experiences while reducing the server load normally required to do so. The company's key product is Media Flow Director, a software appliance through which Ankeena can deliver content to "three screens" -- that is, PCs, TVs and mobile devices -- while easing network congestion, managing traffic and reducing the number of servers needed. It does so by detecting available bandwidth and automatically adjusting the bit-rate of delivery based on that information.
According to Juniper, Media Flow Director and Ankeena's entire product line will become part of Juniper's Junos Ready Software group. Juniper VARs that offer infrastructure solutions will soon be able include Ankeena's quality-of-experience, admission control, bandwidth management and other tools.
"Clearly, successfully addressing this market is key to the future of VARs that focus on enterprise content delivery solutions," said Mike Marcellin, vice president of marketing for Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group and Junos Ready Software, in an e-mail to ChannelWeb. "After completion of the acquisition, the Ankeena technology will be available to Juniper's channel and VAR partners, similar to other Juniper products."
Ankeena has been a strategic partner of Juniper's since October, and the companies most recently collaborated on Juniper Media Flow, a mobile infrastructure offering that Juniper debuted at Mobile World Congress in February.
Marcellin said the acquisition is right in line with Juniper's vision of the "New Network," which has been the company's messaging around Junos, the network OS and app development platform now standard in all of Juniper's networking and security products.
"Leveraging a combination of Ankeena technology, Junos Ready software and Juniper's routing, switching and security portfolio will allow Juniper and its channel partners to bring to market a set of innovative and efficient solutions optimized for a 'content everywhere' world," he explained.
More efficient management of video and rich media traffic has been a prime focus lately for Juniper rival Cisco and other networking and infrastructure vendors. In its February Visual Networking Index report, Cisco in predicted that video will comprise more than 90 percent of all Internet traffic within four years.