BTI systems acquisitions strengthens Juniper NFV play

This proposed acquisition of BTI Systems looks like good news for Juniper Networks from a number of different perspectives. For one, BTI is not short of customers – its website lists a total of 380 including data centre specialists Equinix and Interxion and cloud hosting company Rackspace.

The jewel in BTI’s crown appears to be the NFV enabled BTI 7800 Series Intelligent Cloud Connect platform which debuted in 2014, a device combining high capacity optical switching with MPLS routing and NFV based applications targeted squarely at cloud service provider data centres.

That product in particular has seen some traction in the market, deployed by Asia-Pacific network services provider Pacnet last year to provide 10G and 100G connectivity to its ISP and cloud services provider customers in the region, for example. Global colocation solutions provider CyrusOne is also using a 100G enabled BTI 7800 platform to address demand for colocation services and data centre interconnect bandwidth for its own customers, a number it calculates at 675.

Bringing BTI under its wing looks like it will strengthen Juniper’s position in what has become an increasingly competitive market for 100G metro optical and data centre interconnect equipment, one that has come to be dominated by a small number of very large players following recent merger and acquisition activity.

Market research firm IHS/Infonetics has predicted huge growth for metro optical port shipments for example, which it calculates were up 145 percent in 2014 over the previous year. That was anticipated to grow another 118 percent in 2015, but the market is really expected to explode in 2016, when new equipment built specifically for metro Ethernet market, including the BTI 7800 Series, should see wider adoption amongst network service providers.

From the NFV perspective, the challenge for Juniper and BTI is to convince those same cloud and network service providers which are primarily seeking network and data centre capacity upgrades is that embedded NFV components are worth implementing on top to open up additional value added revenue streams and help accelerate NFV adoption elsewhere.

Certainly, BTI’s portfolio gives Juniper an important, additional component in its broader SDN/NFV strategy aimed at building virtual network overlays across multiple data centres to offer greater redundancy and resilience for cloud services. Juniper confirmed it will integrate BTI technology with its own NorthStar WAN SDN Network Controller, for example.

Written by Martin Courtney for Axians UK

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