Juniper pals up with Ruckus Wireless, targets Cisco (again)

Aruba? Never heard of 'em

Juniper Networks is moving to fill out footprint in enterprise wireless access, signing a deal to integrate kit from Ruckus Wireless into its Ethernet switch range.

The gin palace has long longed to compete with Cisco in the wireless market. It first tagged the segment as important back in 2003, while more recently dropped US$152 million to acquire Trapeze from Belden (and with it a hefty patent book).

The latest deal looks similar to Juniper's 2014 integration-and-resale deal with Aruba, and no wonder: in March, HP blew $3 billion on Aruba, which would have left Juniper feeling a little unloved.

At that time, Aruba held the number two position in WLANs behind Cisco, and in IDC's March 2015 WLAN tracker, the respective shares gave more than 48 per cent of the market to The Borg, nearly 12 per cent to Aruba, and around 6 per cent to Ruckus.

The announcement says the pair “will work to deliver a unified wired and wireless solution, as well as collaborate on global go-to-market opportunities”.

Specifically, Juniper's EX Series Ethernet switches will be integrated with the Ruckus ZoneFlex access points and SmartZone WiFi management platform. The Junos Space network director will provide overall management of the switch infrastructure, while Ruckus will provide “BYOD provisioning and onboarding”.

Naturally, the pair promises openness, based on Juniper's Open Converged Framework, giving them a clear point of difference from the common enemy, Cisco. ®

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