Juniper Snatches Up SDN Startup Contrail Systems for $176M

Juniper Snatches Up SDN Startup Contrail Systems for $176M

Juniper has disclosed its plans to acquire Contrail Systems, a software-defined networking (SDN) startup, for a deal worth around $176 million in cash and stocks. The move was revealed in an SEC filing made by Juniper, followed by a short blog post confirming it. Juniper says that it should close on the deal by the end of this month.

Contrail Systems is expected to pick up around $57.5 million cash, in addition to nearly 6,000 shares in Juniper, a pretty good deal by anyone’s standards, and even more so when you consider that the startup was only founded this year.

“With this acquisition, Juniper gains SDN technology that augments our portfolio of products and services,” said Bob Muglia, Juniper’s software chief.

“As a strategic investor earlier this year, we recognised the inherent advantages of Contrail Systems’ architectural approach and we are excited to take this next step to acquire and combine Contrail Systems into our team.”

For Juniper, the move would seem to be especially timely considering that rival firm Cisco only just announced its own SDN-linked acquisition, buying Cariden for $141 million. In that particular deal however, it’s thought that Cisco were more interested in network virtualization for service providers and being able to deliver carrier apps integrate with its own platforms.

In contrast, the Juniper deal would seem to be more about SDN. Contrail Systems has a few customers testing out its offering, and is aiming to develop a platform that would make it easier for enterprises to manage network virtualization and network-aware apps. To do so, the startup is testing a distributed networking OS, plus something called an orchestration layer that provides support for protocols such as BGP and XMPP. The ideal behind this is that the OS will be able to run alongside pre-deployed software from Juniper and Cisco.

Juniper has been working on software that can address data center traffic patterns for a good while now, and with this deal it’s now getting its hands on a team from Google and Aruba that is already familiar with enterprise customers and the challenges they face in this respect.

Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is a senior staff writer at SiliconANGLE. He loves to write about Big Data and the Internet of Things, and explore how these technologies are evolving and helping businesses to become more agile.

Before joining SiliconANGLE, Mike was an editor at Argophilia Travel News, an occassional contributer to The Epoch Times, and has also dabbled in SEO and social media marketing. He usually bases himself in Bangkok, Thailand, though he can often be found roaming through the jungles or chilling on a beach.

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  1. This is Juniper getting into the game after some brain drain but for the most part Juniper should really be getting behind this which they are now moving faster.  This SDN trend is in Juniper’s wheelhouse and I know from talking to key people over there that this was a direction Juniper has been going down in the past.  Juniper just had some execution issues fumbling the ball in this new opportunity.  SDN is all about the enterprise and even Bigswitch was using Cariden for sp access.  
    For Juniper this SDN and Cariden fits well with using BGP to signal l3 vpn creation. 
    My angle:  Juniper’s open angle on networking makes this an awesome fit and directly opposed to the Cisco view of lock in with ONE.
    Good move for Juniper and they should embrace this and run like the wind and stop rearranging the deck chairs.

  2. So many players it’s hard to keep track of names and what they are doing.  I believe Cariden deals with Service Providers while Contrail deals with Enterprise.  Enterprise is where most of the SDN type development is going right now.  BGP L3 VPNs are what Juniper has focused on in the past and is an open standard allowing for future interoperability between other vendors.

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