Juniper Networks had a challenging 2012 as new product cycles were slow to take hold and global economic conditions took a toll on sales. The company also undertook a restructuring that saw 500 positions cut and the departure of four executive vice presidents. As the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company looks to re-energize its business, particularly with an eye towards enterprises and data centers, CEO Kevin Johnson shared his lessons learned in leading Juniper since 2008, as well as what's ahead for the company in a discussion with IDG Enterprise Chief Content Officer John Gallant and Network World Managing Editor Jim Duffy. In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Johnson also shared his thoughts on the hot topic of software-defined networks (SDN), Juniper's role in enabling cloud and competing against the industry's 800-pound gorilla, Cisco.
Customers are moving toward highly virtualized data centers, cloud services, hybrid cloud. In this context, why is Juniper a better strategic partner than, say, HP, Cisco, Brocade or another networking company?
The two key market trends are cloud computing and mobile Internet. Cloud computing can't be enabled unless you have a high-performance, reliable network that's connecting the users of services and applications to that data center and the compute and the storage layers within the data center. The heritage of Juniper is focused on innovation with a specific focus on high-performance networking, so tackling the most complicated problems of scale and performance and reliability in the network. If you're moving workloads from one data center to another or connecting thousands of storage and computing devices within a data center, our focus has been enabling solutions that solve the problems of scale and reliability.