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Juniper's new products aim to tame business network traffic

The company expands on its network equipment focus, debuting two network devices that include high-end features but stray from the company's traditional Internet market.

Juniper Networks today debuted two network devices that include high-end networking features but stray from the company's traditional focus on the Internet market.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has experienced runaway success focusing on providing routing technology for the "core" networks of Internet service providers such as the UUNet arm of WorldCom. It has split its stock twice this year, posted a 77 percent sequential increase in sales for its most recent quarter, and has garnered nearly 23 percent of the high-end network router market once thought to be sewn up by rival Cisco Systems, according to analysts.

Shares were up $17.91,


Gartner analyst Mark Fabbi says Juniper Networks' introduction of two new high-speed network routers, the M5 and M10, is a logical extension of the company's core business.

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or more than 9 percent, to $209.91 by market close today.

As previously reported, Juniper now is targeting the network "edge" with new routing technology at the point where private business connections for corporations intersect with the public Net. The edge router market has also been cornered by Cisco, but analysts view the market as ripe for a new competitor, given the success of recent entrants such as start-ups Riverstone Networks and Unisphere Networks.

"It's still dominated by Cisco, but judging by Juniper's success in the (Internet) core, there's no reason to think it won't work here," said Kevin Mitchell, an analyst with industry consultants Infonetics Research.

Juniper is shipping two new devices, called the M5 and M10, which Juniper executives say are smaller, have more technology density, and are faster than the competition. Among the customers planning to use the new routing technology are Broadband Office, Verio and UUNet, according to the company.

Price tags for the new equipment start at $25,000.

Juniper executives said their strategy is to extend the expertise they have in Net core routing to other markets where their ISP customers have needs. Mitchell said Juniper is moving "up and down the food chain of router size."

For example, the company has morphed the same software code used in the company's high-end routers for use in the new devices.

"Juniper's staying focused on the same customers and providing a larger part of their network for them," said Carl Showalter, vice president of marketing for Juniper.

Broadband Office, a network operator focused on business complexes and apartment buildings, uses a wide array of Juniper gear for the network it is constructing.

"They've been able to promise significant (technology) improvements to customers and they've been able to deliver," said Johnson Agogbua, co-founder and vice president of engineering for Broadband Office.