650 Group Take: Juniper’s Announced AcQuisition of Apstra – A Move to Software, Day 2 Operations, Automation

On December 7th, Juniper’s announced its plan to acquire Apstra.  The deal is expected to close in 1H’20.

Apstra, founded 2014, boasts numerous customer success stories in large enterprises, service providers, and even reaches into the mid-sized customer segment.  Cutting down complexity by automating data center operations is an immediate challenge that many customers need to solve now.  As such, our first thoughts quickly ran to Juniper Mist with even more data that could head into Marvis for AI and automation.

Digging deeper, we see Juniper benefiting from additional software in its portfolio.  Apstra will help automate networks, saving time in Day 1 and Day 2 activities, and push Juniper towards automation at a faster pace.   We see the two as complimentary at both a hardware (PTX, QFX) level and a software level (JUNOS, Contrail).  Apstra has many advanced features needed by operations teams, and so the acquisition gives Juniper a leap in time to market for their customers.

Apstra already has strong hooks into SONiC, VMWare, and other software platforms and will benefit from Juniper’s larger channel and product portfolio.  We also see the acquisition helping beyond the traditional enterprise data center market.  Telco SPs, Cloud, and other large-scale customers can benefit from the current combination and deeper integration that can occur by owning the technology directly.

650 Group’s end-user interviews indicate that automation and the day two activities associated with more application, multi-cloud, and more applications are significant concerns.  Organizations aren’t given more people for the increasing amount of applications and devices on the network.

Contrail Enterprise Multicloud and Apstra AOS will significantly help improve these pain points today and automate operations to help improve the user experience and IT efficiencies.