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Juniper Gets OEMed by Dell

If you can't build your own networking gear, then why not OEM it? That's what Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is now doing with a new deal with networking vendor Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR).

Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Dell will OEM Juniper MX routers, SRX services gateways and EX switching gear. The Juniper equipment sold by Dell will be delivered under the Dell PowerConnect brand name.

The deal between Dell and Juniper is the second major OEM deal for Juniper this year, which has a similar arrangement in place with IBM -- marking a new step in its effort to ramp up its business and take share from Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and other rivals in the enterprise networking market.

"We're not doing just for the sake of expanding the portfolio," Larry Hart, senior manager of networking at Dell, told InternetNews.com. "This is about delivering a complete solution to our customers who want to be able to do things like dynamically provision virtual machines across the entire datacenter and even going all the way to remote users that could be in a home office."

Hart added that the areas where Juniper's gear will be helping Dell are in WAN connectivity and security solutions. The Juniper MX-class routers are high-performance Ethernet routers while the SRX products are positioned as Ethernet service gateways.

Both the SRX and the MX-class routers are complemented by Juniper EX switching gear, which was expanded earlier this year with new Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) features.

"These are not technologies that we have had in our portfolio to date," Dell's Hart said.

Hart added that the Dell versions of Juniper's equipment initially would be fairly similar in both form and function to what the networking vendor offers directly. But he noted that over time, the two plan to expand the products to enable enhanced integration and management with Dell's other networking hardware and software.

Juniper isn't the first networking vendor with which Dell has struck an OEM deal: It recently signed Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) to a similar agreement.

According to Hart, Dell's goal is to partner with the right leaders in the networking fabric. But he noted that there is a little bit of overlap in the Ethernet switch environment.

"Both of these partners come at the solution from slightly different perspectives," Hart said. "Brocade is largely coming at it from a storage perspective and has a very healthy business in Ethernet LAN switching, while Juniper is a recognized leader in WAN and security solutions and they bring expertise in that space."

Hart added that by having both Brocade and Juniper solution as part of the Dell networking portfolio, it's able to deliver on the promise of a unified fabric.

"By having this type of choice for our customers, we're giving them the variety and option to deliver on the promise of the efficient enterprise," Hart said.

Just as Dell has both Brocade and Juniper as its OEM networking partners, so too does rival systems vendor IBM (NYSE: IBM). Juniper announced its OEM deal with IBM in July, while Brocade expanded its OEM partnership with IBM in April.

"Our relationship with Dell is complementary to our partnership with IBM," David Helfer, vice president of OEM at Juniper, told InternetNews.com."Our go-to-market model and the presence that Dell has in the market, both in small and medium-sized business as well as in public sector, are strengths of Dell and we look forward to partnering with Dell out in the field."