Juniper Networks this week announced
that it is acquiring 128 Technology for its SD-WAN solution, which it will wrap into its Mist AI-driven enterprise networking portfolio. The acquisition, valued at $450 million, is expected to close in Juniper’s fiscal fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31.
128 Technology was founded in July 2014 by the founders and technical team of session border controller vendor Acme Packet (now Oracle). Taking the concept of voice sessions, 128T created a session stateful-aware SD-WAN router — the first and only SD-WAN solution that was IPSec-tunnel free. 128T was ahead of the curve and vision on bringing session smart networking to the market.
Intelligent networks control the user experience and security end-to-end, are automated, and application-centric. The goal is to push networking intelligence beyond the middle and core to the edge of networks. With network intelligence at the edge, enterprises and service providers can optimize performance across many different networks while limiting malware and preventing malicious users from getting into the network backbone.
Many of us in the UC industry understand the value of sessions over network flows, with which many of our networking peers deal. In fact, the foundation of Gartner’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) concept is based on using the appropriate networking and security services per application session. Juniper is buying into this advanced architectural model.
The Session Layer provides the mechanism for opening, closing, and managing a session between end users and applications. Sessions are stateful and end-to-end, providing granular network and security controls for application services. Firewalls, proxies, SBCs, WAN optimizers, load balancers, caching/content distribution networks are products that manage network state and provide higher-level networking and security functions.
So, one of the key questions is if and how Juniper will go all-in on session smart networking. Another question is how quickly it can integrate 128T’s technology and bring a fully integrated end-to-end Juniper solution to market.
One thing is for sure, consolidation within the SD-WAN market will continue. I predict the next three years, the number of vendors will dwindle from 60 down to around 20.