Juniper Networks said on Monday that it plans to acquire Mist Systems, makers of a wireless LAN network powered by artificial intelligence, for $405 million. Juniper plans to use the purchase to bolster its software-defined enterprise portfolio and multicloud offerings and expand its presence in the cloud-managed segment of the wireless networking market.
More specifically, Juniper will combine Mist's wireless LAN platform with Juniper's wired LAN, SD-WAN and security services. Juniper also plans to extend Mist's AI capabilities across the Juniper networking portfolio for software-defined architectures.
Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim expanded further, writing in a blog post that Mist's open framework for AI-driven wireless will help Juniper better target advanced enterprise customers with a broader and more flexible portfolio.
"With our planned acquisition of Mist Systems, we are not only expanding our enterprise portfolio into the wireless arena, but also staking claim to AI-driven operations in the era of multicloud," Rahim wrote in a blog post. "Wireless is the most strategic place to start as we adopt AI for IT. It's also more than just wireless. AI-driven operations must extend across the whole IT stack if it is to reach its full potential."
"By integrating Mist's cloud-management and advanced AI engine into the balance of Juniper's enterprise portfolio, we are setting ourselves up to continue to lead the transition to the software-defined enterprise," he continued.
Another significant takeaway from Rahim's blog post is how Juniper is using its enterprise push to differentiate from Cisco, Arista and VMware. Rahim noted that while Juniper is known primarily as a networking provider to SPs and cloud providers, the company has been working to combine its technologies across routing, switching and security to position the company as a cog in the cloud migration wheel.
Rahim also noted that Juniper's enterprise business topped $1.6 billion in 2018.