Juniper Networks To Acquire AppFormix For Machine Learning Network Tech

| About: Juniper Networks (JNPR)

Summary

Juniper Networks says it will acquire AppFormix for an undisclosed sum.

AppFormix emerged from stealth in 2015 with its machine learning approach to network monitoring and optimization.

The acquisition will be integrated into Juniper's Contrail platform and should be a positive boost, increasing performance while lowering customer costs.

Quick Take

Networking company Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) has announced its intent to acquire AppFormix for an undisclosed amount.

AppFormix will enhance Juniper's Contrail Cloud Platform by applying machine learning and telemetry technology for monitoring and optimizing network resource loads.

The tuck-in acquisition should be a long-term positive for Juniper and its ability to sell customers on its Contrail product line.

Target Company

San Jose-based AppFormix was founded in 2013 by Sumeet Singh to provide private and hybrid cloud operators with machine learning and telemetry technology for monitoring analytics.

Singh was previously Principal Development Manager of Data Path and Hybrid Cloud Networking for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure, where he started the Windows Azure Networking team in Silicon Valley.

Notable partners included Mirantis, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Rackspace (NYSE:RAX).

AppFormix raised just $7 million in its Series A financing round in June 2015, from primary investor August Capital (Vivek Mehra).

Acquisition Rationale

Juniper will acquire AppFormix for its machine learning approach to providing cloud operators with real-time analytics at a lower cost. The technology will be folded into Juniper's Contrail product line, initially applied to OpenStack and Kubernetes environments.

Contrail Cloud Platform is a cloud agnostic network management system for a variety of cloud and NFV (Network Virtualization Functions) environments. Enterprise customers are demanding greater insight into their network operations as well as the ability to dynamically optimize performance based on those insights, in real-time.

AppFormix will contribute to increased network reliability, predictability, and performance by automatically detecting and eliminating resource contention between applications in shared infrastructure environments.

Terms And Commentary

Juniper didn't state how much it will pay for AppFormix, which emerged from stealth in June 2015. I suspect they valued the company on a buy vs. build scenario, rather than a multiple to sales.

In its short life, AppFormix has been the recipient of several top industry awards, so was highly regarded. If Juniper pays $50 million or less, that would be a sensible price in my view.

The NFV market alone is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2015 to $11.6 billion 2019, indicating just one market space where AppFormix's solution can improve Contrail's value proposition.

As machine learning continues its march into all aspects of computing, using it to intelligently automate monitoring and optimization of cloud resource allocation makes complete sense.

Also, Juniper no doubt faces continual pressure to automate and increase performance for its Contrail Cloud Platform service, which is sold to companies using a wide variety of NFV applications and cloud environments.

Contrail provides the 'freedom to use any standard server, storage hardware, or IP network, and seamlessly pool resources regardless of where they are physically located'.

Having the ability to more effectively monitor and optimize those widely disparate environments with Contrail is the reason why Juniper bought AppFormix.

While Contrail has an automated resource provisioning capability, the acquisition of AppFormix has accelerated the development of better solutions for their customers that 'deliver a smarter network and more simplified operations'.

The tuck-in acquisition should close by year-end, according to Juniper. Assuming integration goes smoothly, the well-regarded technology should be a net positive addition to Juniper's Contrail offering.


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