Juniper Scoops Up Ankeena Networks

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

The acquisition of the new media infrastructure player will support Juniper's “New Network” vision, building on its ability to provide its customers with the technology they need deliver video on the IP network.

Juniper Networks has signed a definitive agreement to acquire new media infrastructure technology provider Ankeena Networks.

The acquisition will support Juniper's "New Network" vision, building on the vendor's ability to provide its customers with the technology they need deliver video on the IP network. Additionally, instead of partnering with another vendor to offer these capabilities, all of the technology will come from Juniper, said one analyst.

"I think what's really interesting about this announcement is that last year they announced Junos Space back in November, and it's essentially creating an operating system for the network," said Cindy Borovick, vice president of enterprise communications infrastructure at IDC. "What this acquisition does is it delivers a solution that can sit on top of Junos Space, and the solution is coming into a new space for Juniper but not a new customer set. Juniper is already selling to the service providers, and so this gives Juniper another product, another solution set to sell to its existing customers."

Service providers, particularly those serving the consumer broadband market, are struggling with how to deliver video over the IP network, Borovick explained. With the acquisition of Ankeena, which provides the ability to offer a smooth-viewing experience regardless of the viewing device and network conditions, Juniper will be better able to support that kind of media delivery.

While Juniper already has the underlying core infrastructure that supports video delivery on the IP network, it hasn't had the specific media delivery capabilities that it will gain through the acquisition of Ankeena, she said.

"Basically, Juniper's building out the ecosystem around media delivery, but they're also going to have products that are Juniper's," Borovick said.

With the likes of video-on-demand services such as YouTube, as well as products that can receive video like the iPhone and iPad, there's a growing need for the delivery of video over IP, and it's something that service providers are struggling with right now, she said. It's a major challenge right now, and it's something that's top-of-mind for service providers. The ability to provide video over IP seamlessly is something they need, and the Ankeena acquisition will put Juniper in a position to solve such problems.

"Juniper’s acquisition of Ankeena reflects our commitment to transforming the experience and economics of networking – in this case by delivering an enhanced TV-like user experience of both fixed and mobile video traffic, while enabling crucial TCO reductions for operators," said Manoj Leelanivas, executive vice president and general manager Junos Ready Software at Juniper Networks, in a statement. "The combination of Ankeena’s new media infrastructure solution with Juniper’s high-performance networking platforms will take our existing partnership to the next level to meet the bandwidth and cost of delivery challenges facing service providers as IP video continues to accelerate. We are excited about Ankeena’s technology and its talented team playing important roles in the future of Juniper Networks."

The cornerstone of Ankeena's product portfolio is Media Flow Director, which provides optimization for watching streaming videos on the network, regardless of varying network conditions and the specific device the end-user is using to view the video.

"By joining with Juniper Networks, we will fully realize our corporate mission of driving the convergence between traditional entertainment media and the Internet," said Rajan Raghavan, CEO of Ankeena Networks, in a statement. "The combination of Juniper’s high-performance networking products with Junos Software and Ankeena’s highly scalable media delivery engine will result in solutions that accelerate the pace of innovation for online delivery of all content types."

According to Borovick, there's an opportunity to provide optimized traffic and quality of service for video on service providers' networks.

"Essentially, broadband customers consider bandwidth to be always on and an unlimited resource," she said.