Where's the Juniper unified fabric strategy? Still waiting

A unified fabric strategy was notably missing from the Juniper's cloud computing architecture launch last week – and analysts wanted to know what happened to the Juniper Stratus vision.

With all of the hoopla around Juniper's cloud computing architecture launch, the lack of detail on a Juniper unified fabric strategy -- which was promised last winter -- was glaring.

During the official launch of "The New Network" at the New York Stock Exchange last week, UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos pressed Juniper executives for a timeline on a release date for a unified fabric product details as opposed to vision. Theodosopoulos noted that competitors have already come to market with these products, placing pressure on Juniper.

To that, Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson said the company was "meeting milestones" in development but couldn't yet disclose release dates. David Yen, Juniper executive vice president for emerging technologies, promised the missing Stratus details in no way subtracted from the weight of the current announcement.

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"The networks in between the data centers are just as important," Yen said. "Our goal is to provide a total solution."

One network architect at a global company, who is in the process of implementing Juniper's SRX gateway platforms, says has seen details of Juniper's unified fabric strategy, which he believes will eventually work well, but "will take time to get there." Until that happens, he won't be implementing more the SRX series, he said.

It also became apparent during this launch that Juniper will not launch a data center server as part of Stratus, said Robert Whiteley, research director at Forrester Research.

"They've made it clear they are going to remain a networking pure-play," Whiteley said. Juniper instead announced extended OEM agreements with IBM and Dell, which will release a Junos-based management strategy along with the package of networking components and servers. Blade Networks will license Junos to develop blade switches.

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