Juniper and IBM, as expected, have entered into an OEM arrangement under which IBM will resell Juniper Ethernet switches and routers to datacenter customers.
The agreement allows IBM's System & Technology Group to brand, label and sell Juniper EX 4200 and 8200 series Ethernet switches and MX series Ethernet services routers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal reflects a broadening of the longstanding relationship between Juniper and IBM. In 2007, IBM's Global Technology Services group agreed to resell Juniper's product portfolio, including routing, switching and security platforms. This reseller agreement will continue, the companies said.
For the past year, IBM and Juniper have been working together on the Stratus Project, Juniper's initiative to create a single data center fabric for converged and virtualized datacenter environments. The companies have collaborated on a technology demonstration of extending private data center clouds; partnered on customer engagements in IBM's 10 global Cloud Labs; and on moving compute workloads between private and publicly managed cloud environments.The companies are also jointly researching cloud computing security models to determine how customers might mitigate attacks on corporate data and computer systems.
IBM also offers its Managed Maintenance Services on the Juniper product portfolio. IBM and Juniper have also been working on joint technology solutions, standards development, network management and managed security services.
IBM signed an OEM agreement with Brocade earlier this year to resell Brocade's Foundry switches. While it appears the Juniper deal overlaps with that, Juniper says the Brocade switches will be targeted by IBM at campus and workgroup environments while Juniper's products will be focused squarely on the data center.
An IBM spokesman says there is no overlap or conflict with the Brocade deal because the company's datacenter initiative is to offer "best-of-breed networking technology from the leading vendors."
An OEM arrangement represents a deeper commitment than just reselling product, according to Rob Whiteley an analyst at Forrester Research.
"Having an IBM-branded product on the sales sheet will be easier for IBM to work into its solution selling. Also, as IBM works to position itself as a leader in the cloud computing market it needs to be able to tackle network infrastructure as part of both public and private cloud architectures."
Whiteley says the deal appears to pose a conflict with the IBM/Brocade OEM agreement for Foundry switches and routers. But it's about offering choices, he says.
"It's not uncommon for IBM to supply multiple networking options," Whiteley says. "Their goal is to provide choice and when customers demand a deeper integration or partnership, they'll supply it. I see this as a bigger move for IBM to diversify its networking portfolio."