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Getting back to the partners and how they sell SDN and software with Juniper, you have plenty of partners who can sell licenses and do integration. But far fewer are the number of partners, particularly VARs, who have real development expertise and can run the business of programming the network. Have we reached a point where they need to get in on that?
For partners that have expertise selling products and systems and hardware, they are going to have to build some muscle around software licensing. We're going to help them with that, and our Software Advantage licensing approach we're announcing here is going to educate partners on how to do that. We want to make that an easy skill set: not only how to configure and price and sell systems components, but also how to configure and price and sell software licenses as well. That's an important thing for them to build.
Certainly these services that partners bring to market have to do with managing these networks. Having to do command-line interfaces to program network devices is just archaic at this point. When it comes to developing software, the strategy we're on is that anyone can develop it, and it'll run on an x86. Juniper's JunosV App Engine will allow it to run on any operating system you want. So if there's a developer in Linux, or Windows, or Java, you can write to any system you want. It'll be all part of the base of software we can enable.
We've made a lot of progress beyond this concept of just running Junos APIs. We've dramatically simplified the ability to write software. Not all partners will write software, but that will be part of how some of them sell the solution they architect.
It seems like there's an emerging gulf between Juniper partners that have invested and developed that software practice and those who haven't. FishNet Security, for example, one of your biggest partners, has its FireMon business, which uses technology that was developed in Junos. Will all your partners need to do this?
I don't think they'll all need to do that. They can participate in systems and software solutions without needing to be in the business of writing custom software. There is not a requirement for every partner to learn that, and certainly we'll take them down the path of how to use and leverage the SDN tools.
What we've seen from a lot of the tier-one technology companies, many of whom you partner or compete with, is this stack-up, where they want to sell the hardware and software and the storage and network -- everything needed to attack converged infrastructure. Cisco's doing it, HP's doing it, Oracle's doing it. If you're not doing it, do you get boxed out?
I don't think so. Customers have specific needs, and for the companies you mentioned, they need to decide if they're offering a proprietary stack or an open stack. We decided to build to OpenStack, as have several of the companies you've mentioned. We see a unifying concept in OpenStack that allows for innovation using a common interface and a common set of protocols.
I think that's the right approach for the industry and the right approach for us to be supportive of that. That's the direction we're going. We don't really get into the compute layer; we're not getting into storage. But, we're going to continue to be a pure-play, high-performance networking company. We're going to do that and participate with innovators in other layers of the stack.