Networking vendor Juniper is acquiring its former partner Ankeena in a deal that aims to expand its media delivery capabilities -- and meeting growing demand for such technologies in the enterprise and consumer spheres.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed though Juniper (NYSE: JNPR) noted the deal is worth less than $100 million.
Privately held Ankeena develops media-streaming technologies that enable optimized delivery across different network and device environments. Earlier this year, Juniper named Ankeena as a key partner in its Project Falcon wireless system delivery development. The move will bring additional capabilities in-house to Juniper as it ramps up competition against rivals like Cisco, who have similar media streaming efforts in play.
"We are acquiring Ankeena to optimize our product portfolio to address the increasing market demands for advanced content delivery networks (CDNs) and for rich three-screen (PCs, TVs and mobile devices) media delivery," Mike Marcellin, vice president of marketing for Juniper's infrastructure products group and Junos Ready Software, told InternetNews.com. "In addition, this acquisition is well aligned with Juniper's strategy because Ankeena is built on an open, standards-based architecture."
As to why Juniper decided to acquire Ankeena rather than simply continuing to partner with it, company officials said it came down to a buy-versus-build question. Marcellin noted that even though Juniper is focused on organic R&D growth and smart partnerships, it always evaluates acquisitions that can better support its networking vision.
Marcellin added that Ankeena's products offer massive scale and are good fit with the Juniper product portfolio.
"We will utilize Ankeena's Media Flow Director software to help wireless and wireline service providers reduce transit traffic and costs while providing a TV-like online viewing experience for rich media content," Marcellin said.
Following the close of the Ankeena acquisition, all of Ankeena's products will be rebranded as Juniper products.
In addition, Marcellin also said that Juniper views Ankeena employees as a great asset as it can play an important role in future product development and continued focus in the video and CDN space. The senior management team from Ankeena is set to join Juniper after the acquisition.
As to how the Ankeena technology will be further integrated into the Juniper product portfolio -- and with Junos, the core network operating system underlying nearly all of the larger company's platforms -- it will be an evolution of the path the two companies were already on, Juniper said.
"When we first announced our partnership with Ankeena in October 2009, we provided them with access to Junos Ready Software to facilitate the integration of Ankeena technology with Junos," Marcellin said. "Juniper will continue to leverage Junos Ready Software to integrate Ankeena technology with Juniper Networks Junos OS and Juniper Networks platforms."