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Juniper Introduces QFabric to Take on Cisco in Data Centers

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Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Juniper Networks Inc., the second-largest maker of networking gear, introduced the first in a new family of data-center products, stepping up competition with larger rival Cisco Systems Inc.

The initial component will connect servers to a network and will cost $34,000, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said. It’s part of a project that Juniper has poured more than $100 million into in the past three years.

Juniper, which has built most of its business on selling gear to phone and Internet-service providers, is going after Cisco in the market for corporate data centers. The new QFabric products require less networking equipment, run more quickly and provide more value than rival products, the company said.

“Juniper’s heritage is one of innovating and disrupting the competition,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in an interview. “What customers are looking for is new ways to solve the problems of these massive data centers and in ways that are faster and more cost-effective.”

Juniper will begin selling the additional products in the QFabric suite in the third quarter. The company’s shares have risen 15 percent this year following the release of new security, routing and switching products, which direct the flow of Internet traffic.

Customer Tests

The company is testing the QFabric products with financial-services companies, health-care customers and education firms. NYSE Euronext, which has seen a steady surge in trading as the market gets more fragmented and new securities such as derivatives are introduced, turned to Juniper to help it keep up with the demands on its network.

“All of the large major companies have good offerings,” said Andrew Bach, a senior vice president at NYSE Euronext. “When you put together the combination of the architectural vision, competitive pricing and the overall support model, that’s what brought us to Juniper.”

Cisco said in a statement that its products are widely deployed in data centers and that customers have chosen to vote with their wallets.

Juniper will host an event in San Francisco tomorrow with partners to unveil the QFabric products.

Juniper rose 50 cents to $42.95 at 9:42 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had gained 15 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Galante in San Francisco at jgalante3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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