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Juniper targets cloud, mobile Internet in 2011

In cloud computing, Juniper this year will unleash products to support its Project Stratus plan to deliver a flat, unified fabric for data centers and cloud computing environments. The products will include switches and routers designed to be able to be linked together into a virtual chassis.

Juniper has also lined up IBM to help it develop the Stratus fabric. Stratus is designed to flatten and scale data center and cloud switching fabrics for high-performance, low latency, resiliency and support for LAN and storage convergence.

In the mobile Internet, Juniper is acquiring companies to fill out its portfolio in several areas of this market. Most recently, it acquired WLAN pioneer Trapeze Networks from Trapeze parent Belden to fill a yawning gap in its mobile enterprise offerings. And earlier this year, Juniper acquired SMobile, a maker of security software for mobile handsets supporting an array of operating systems.

Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson recently prepared analysts for major thrusts in cloud computing and mobile Internet in 2011:

“We are beginning to add key sales and marketing resources ahead of several planned launches in 2011,” Johnson said during Juniper's third quarter conference call in mid-October. “We are positioning for the opportunities we see in 2011.”

Overarching the cloud computing and mobile Internet initiatives is Juniper's software strategy. Juniper is also bolstering its software prowess by lining up third-party development partners for its three platforms: JUNOS, JUNOS Space and JUNOS Pulse. In this effort, Juniper is looking to emulate the success Microsoft and Apple have had in recruiting hundreds of software partners to their products and platforms.

And the foundation of them is Juniper's 30% share of the service provider router market and burgeoning enterprise business. After shipping its first product in 1997, Juniper is now a $4 billion company with a 65%-to-35% split between service provider and enterprise, respectively. The company is targeting annual growth of 20%.

Juniper is second to Cisco in router market share. The company just unveiled its newest Internet core router, the T4000, which aims to double the performance and capacity of Cisco's largest machine, the CRS-3. In addition to technical agility, Juniper, Cisco and everyone will be challenged by regulations and recent regulatory ambiguity.

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