Networking equipment maker Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) has agreed to purchase Ankeena Networks, at a purchase price pegged at less than $100M. Ankeena is a young company specializing in media infrastructure that began its life just two years ago as Nokeena. Its top management will join Juniper’s in leadership positions with the JunOS Ready Software group. The Ankeena product set will be integrated into the whole, giving the combined company a more complete portfolio. That won’t be a very difficult process, as Ankeena has been working closely with Juniper for a while now, and the two apparently hit it off even better than expected.
Juniper’s move follows naturally from from the strategic situation, as it adds core competencies in streaming and content delivery to Juniper’s IP networking portfolio. In terms of raw bits, video already dominates internet traffic and that dominance can only grow over time. Those bits need to be delivered smoothly to an increasingly wide variety of devices over connections whose bandwidth can span three orders of magnitude – from older 3G networks on up to ultra-fast broadband connections capable of exceeding 100Mbps. What Ankeena specializes in is detecting the connectivity and dynamically adapting the flow of bits to match, thus hopefully giving users an optimal streaming experience no matter how they might be viewing it.
One must obviously consider Juniper’s purchase of Ankeena alongside video-centric moves by its chief networking equipment rival Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings). However, while they certainly compete, the two companies are taking rather different approaches. Cisco is moving on more fronts to both service providers and enterprises, including video conferencing and telepresence. Juniper’s product set is more tightly focused on IP networking and the service provider and CDN marketplace, and the Ankeena purchase seems to fit that orientation pretty well.
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