Juniper CEO: Time For Partners To Make Choices

data center

Aligning their practices with Juniper, he said, over competitors like Cisco and HP, means hitching their wagon to an innovator.

"Any time there's an inflection point, there are decisions to be made, and you get to make bets," said Johnson, addressing 250 Juniper partners at Juniper's J-Partner Summit in Phoenix. "You can bet on the status quo. You can bet on the commoditizer. Or, you can bet on the innovator."

Describing the network as the center of the next wave of innovation in IT, Johnson said the key to that innovation is not so much changing the products as changing the architecture. All of Juniper's product releases from the past year, from enhancements to its Junos operating system to routers, switches and software platforms like Junos Space and Junos Pulse, reflect a consistent message, he said.

"The architectures of the past have become so complex they're no longer able to scale," Johnson said. "The architectures must change."

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The explosion in storage, servers and networking traffic -- all continuing to grow, he noted -- makes for some tough decisions by customers, he explained. Because their infrastructures can't support those demands, they end up sacrificing the user experience in favor of making their infrastructure cheaper, or pay through the nose to create an optimal user experience.

It doesn't have to be that way, Johnson suggested.

"Pushing so much complexity to the customer is the least efficient way to deploy resources," he said. "It drives op-ex through the roof. Every customer I talk to sees this in their own business."

Partners and innovation are both crucial to Juniper's long-term growth, Johnson said. Among key triumphs for Juniper in the past year, he cited partner-branded services revenue growing 10 percent, enterprise revenue in the Americas growing 11 percent, and the number of partners selling the complete Juniper portfolio growing 114 percent.

Product-wise, Johnson referenced several of the newer data center products Juniper has announced in the past few months and also its push toward Stratus, the data center initiative that according to Juniper will be ready by the second half of 2011.

The Stratus project, which Juniper has had in development for more than two years, will complete its vision of a "3-2-1" architecture that removes unnecessary networking tiers by creating a single data center fabric.

"The legacy approach to networking in this decade is not sustainable in the next decade," he said. "We've made our decision. We're all in. And if you bet on Juniper, we're going to bet on you."