Juniper Acquiring Contrail and Re-Acquiring Kireeti Kompella
A day after Kireeti Kompella guest blogged on SDxCentral — which set a record as the most-viewed guest blog on SDxCentral in a 24 hour period — his former employer, Juniper Networks announced plans to acquire his SDN startup, Contrail Systems for $176M in stock and cash.
According to the SEC filing, Contrail will receive $57.5 million in cash plus 5,819,148 share in Juniper stock.
This deal was not a surprise to us — and a smart move by Juniper. We’ve heard multiple rumors since Contrail was funded that it was designed to be a Juniper spin-in from the beginning and given the vast number of former Juniper people at the company, this is no surprise.
For those who are not familiar with Contrail they are pitching a distributed network operating system with orchestration of common protocols such as BGP and XMPP. It’s also a good bet that we’ll see MPLS included in this as well.
What does this mean:
- OpenFlow: expect less, not more OpenFlow support in Juniper products. Contrail reinforces their strategy of focusing on layer 3 based technologies which if applied correctly — drive less of a need for a programable TCAM that OpenFlow is driving today.
- Juniper: Restocks their software team with leading technologies who understand enterprises (just look at the former Cisco, Aruba, Google folks at Contrail and you’ll see what I mean) who can perhaps ‘do-over’ Juniper’s attempt to expand into the enterprise market. This also gives Juniper a clear SDN strategy to position with customers.
- Essentially positions Juniper and the Contrail to compete with other SDN architectures — including Cisco, VMware, and OpenFlow.