Anyone with an interest in AI-powered systems and networks will have heard of Juniper, the sassy Silicon Valley start-up that’s been beating out S&P 500 companies for market share recently. Busy drinking milk and cascading its products via distributor, Juniper is all out of milk and ready to rumble!

The most recent signing was with UK-based cyber security firm Exclusive Networks, just the latest distributor agreement that shows Juniper’s commitment to security, as well as its aggressive growth strategy around its AIOps.

AI- and cloud-based networks are the way forward

Mist AI and Cloud is Juniper’s cloud-based, AI-powered network and support package. It uses a smart combination of AI, machine learning, and data science techniques to simplify operations across wireless, wired and SD-WAN domains.

The constant scanning of all data points for root cause ID, the company’s trademarked Self-Driving Network and its IoT- and cloud-based approach to full network coverage all make Juniper a pleasure to implement.

Despite this, Juniper is still mostly known for being the network provider of choice for ISPs and telecoms – which means the big push is to move out of that space and engage more big business and enterprise clients, which, according to the market share and partnership signings, seems to be going well.

Rami Rahim, the Californian company’s CEO, told CRN that the reason the company is signing up “logo after logo” is that its “experience-first” approach to meeting customers’ needs is simply unrivalled: Theres the AI-driven undertaking, which is working on the everyday activities by basically, supplanting manual tasks with robotsThen, theres the cloud-prepared, goal based server farm arrangements… You simply give whatever business result youre searching for in an organization, [and] it basically designs and autoruns itself. To wrap things up is the computerized WAN space. This is somewhat our meat and potatoes, where, obviously, execution and scale matters. So, experience-first networking applied across the enterprise cloud-ready data centre [and] automated WAN.”

This full-service approach seems to be turning heads and getting Juniper away from ISP-only customers and into some truly exciting spaces.

Satellite and quantum computers

One of those incredible, news-worthy spaces is in satellite-key delivery and quantum encryption. Sound like a huge departure from Juniper’s usual fare? The bosses disagree.

“Juniper’s mission to provide secure networking makes this partnership a natural fit for Arqit and our technologies,” said Arqit Quantum, Inc’s co-founder and CEO, David Williams, after the two firms signed a Technology Alliance Agreement (TAA) in September this year. While Juniper is still trying to compete with Silicon Valley stalwart and tech giant Cisco, this partnership could really be the thing that helps them gain momentum and edge over their comp-set.

So, what is a TAA exactly, and how will the two businesses’ tech support one another?

A TAA is a simple partnership that means each company can use the others’ technology to improve its offering. It means a joint approach to new business (where sensible) and a strengthening of both organisations’ portfolio.

In the expressions of Domenico Di Mola, VP of Engineering at Juniper Networks: Quantum encryption is a promising innovation to assist with conveying networks safer against intimidations now and into the future, and we are excited to be working with Arqit on these new advancements.

As with the agreement with Exclusive mentioned above, Juniper Networks is keen to make sure that its products are not only AI-driven and innovative, but also as secure as possible – and that means against future threats. I won’t bore you with the perennial argument about whether quantum computers are a threat in the next few years or in a decade (you can read about that here). What I will say, is that if you have an opportunity to make your house secure against intruders using knives or to make it secure against knives, guns and advanced weapons you know will be everywhere in 10 years (at the latest), it’s kind of a no-brainer to stump for the latter.

With Arqit’s QuantumCloud solution using satellites to deliver keys (and solving the issue of symmetric key delivery) and offering a platform-as-a-service specifically for IoT and cloud-based solutions – and protection against quantum decryption – I’d imagine there have been quite a few tense meetings over at Cisco (now HQ’d in Delaware, of all places). As it’s been an eternity since any company has given the company a run for its money, I’m all for it – not because I dislike Cisco, but because competition fosters innovation and invention.

I’m keen to see what Arqit and Juniper Networks do together, and predict the partnership is going to spell some quantum-speed developments in the industry.