HPE Acquisition of Juniper Networks to Advance Company AI

In a bid to expand its AI and data centre offerings, HPE has acquired networking company Juniper Networks, hoping to drive greater levels of performance

HPE recently announced that it would be acquiring the networking hardware company Juniper Networks for US$14bn, making it the largest recent acquisition in AI.

The Financial Times reported that one of the reasons for the acquisition was due to HPE's desire to return to large-scale deal-making, in the wake of a sharp decline in merger and acquisition activity in 2023. This comes after a successive line of other high-profile acquisitions in the IT market, notably Cisco’s acquisition of Splunk in September 2023.

A move of this scale signifies a desire of digital businesses to continue upscaling their AI and data centre offerings.

Expanding enterprise horizons via the power of AI

Businesses worldwide are very keen to invest in AI and get ahead in the ‘digital AI race’ whilst they can. In this vein, HPE and Juniper Networks will be able to combine both of their capabilities, thereby advancing AI and digital transformation efforts.

HPE in particular will be especially keen to advance its AI portfolio via the acquisition. An acquisition such as this will ultimately seek to expand HPE’s market into new areas such as data centre networking, for example. The deal also aims to push HPE's portfolio towards higher-growth solutions, particularly in the networking sector, aiming to double HPE's networking business.

Last year, HPE also announced that it was introducing a cloud computing service designed to power AI systems similar to ChatGPT

Juniper Networks is bringing to the table a high-performance network and a range of service offerings, including routing, switching, Wi-Fi, network security, AI-enabled enterprise networking operations (AIOps) and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.

The company already provides solutions for AI data centre networking to optimise data centres for AI and machine learning workloads. Its solutions confront the challenge of increased data demand with high-capacity networking fabrics that aim to deliver the highest AI performance.

HPE and the data centre

HPE already offers secure and agile servers, storage, networking and management services that aim to provide a consistent experience and economic control across hybrid cloud data centre infrastructures.

The company views hybrid cloud solutions as being able to help businesses accelerate digital transformation efforts by harnessing the power of data from the edge to core to cloud. Its core infrastructure is designed to enable scale, performance, security, agility and economic efficiency to support any workload.

The company has already supported AI data centre endeavours, notably the VMware Private AI Foundation with NVIDIA, which is also supported by Dell Technologies and Lenovo. The goal of the foundation is to more seamlessly integrate AI into data centres by delivering real-time insights for accelerated business outcomes.

Acquiring Juniper Networks will allow both companies to consistently drive new levels of scale and performance, in addition to improving user experience with increased capabilities. The AI networking solution that Juniper Networks already offers will help customers build high-capacity and easy to operate networks that maximise GPU use.

Speaking on the Juniper Networks acquisition, HPE President and CEO, Antonio Neri said on LinkedIn: “Today, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced our agreement to acquire Juniper Networks, which will accelerate our AI-driven innovation and supercharge our edge-to-cloud strategy. 

“The acquisition represents an important inflection point and will positively shift the dynamics in the networking market, while also generating significant value for our shareholders.”

The acquisition is expected to close by early 2025.

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