Johnson downplayed Juniper's vulnerability to product margin shortfalls like those that recently hit Cisco Systems because of the popularity of some lower-margin switches. Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers on Tuesday characterized the shortfall as an unpleasant surprise. Johnson said Juniper focuses on innovative switches with added value instead of ones that are more subject to pricing pressures.
Juniper's leadership also distanced itself from Cisco by emphasizing its focus on networking. In the past few years, Cisco has expanded its purview to include consumer electronics products and server systems. Despite Juniper's claims that its new JunOS Express chipset is one of the most powerful processors in the world, including server CPUs, the company has no current plans to sell computing or storage systems, according to Pradeep Sindhu, vice chairman, chief technical officer and founder. Juniper thinks it can do more for data centers with networking gear than with servers, because as data centers get bigger, the network plays a bigger role in performance, Sindhu said.
Going into other parts of the data center would also pose the danger of offending Juniper's partners, such as IBM, Dell and NetApp, which are helping to sell the company's networking gear, RBC's Sue said.
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