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Cisco vs Juniper: Why Juniper in 2024

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Published on December 21, 2021

When choosing an IT networking solution, your choice will inevitably be between a Juniper or a Cisco solution. Sure, there may be other solutions out there, but these two companies are the top two market leaders.

Cisco is a tried and true product with loads of support and products. Juniper on the other hand is a great value, providing high scalability and a vast amount of features. Both of these products have the potential to fit your organization's needs, but this article will focus on what makes Juniper the best solution for 2024.

Juniper Provides Great Value

Routers and switches provided by Juniper are generally less expensive than their Cisco counterparts. With that being said, Juniper is an excellent choice to meet all of your networking needs as well.

Juniper's focus on core routing technologies removes a lot of overhead that could be associated with its competitors. Cisco, on the other hand, attempts to sell an entire ecosystem of hardware and software. This means your organization will have to invest a lot of time, effort, and capital into setting up, maintaining, and troubleshooting the solution.

Juniper's streamlined solutions can give your organization the flexibility it needs without compromising speed, security, or scalability.

Juniper is Secure

One aspect that Juniper prides itself on is its level of security. According to Juniper, device security consists of three elements: physical security of the hardware, operating system security, and configuration-based security.

To satisfy these three elements, Juniper implements state-of-the-art software to ensure a secure user experience. For instance, Junos OS, the Juniper operating system, supports Terminal Access Controller Access Control System Plus (TACACS+). TACACS+ is a method of authenticating users for routers and switches. It is managed by a central authority, which allows authenticated users to access any router, switch, or gateway on a network.

In addition to standard security features like TACACS+, Junos OS supports Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection. Junos' OS DDoS protection allows a network to operate normally while under attack. This is accomplished by identifying the source of the attack and applying route engine switchover for the rest of the network to resume functionality. However, a lot of hacking can be prevented from the source by utilizing Juniper's SRX Next-Generation Firewall.

SRX Series Firewall

Juniper's SRX series Firewall is designed to block threats in real-time for your network edge, data center, and cloud applications. These gateways are high-performance, low-latency hardware solutions that can block unwanted communication. The SRX series firewall provides industry-leading antivirus protection and URL filtering.

It also can work at the app level, giving the administrator fine-grained control over who has access to what applications based on configured policies.  The SRX gateway delivers curated, action threat intelligence information that will allow you to proactively protect against imminent intrusion.

Junos OS Auditing Features

Lastly, Junos OS provides excellent auditing support to monitor the effectiveness of your implemented policies. The logs can be scanned in real-time to determine various security lapses and vulnerabilities. All of these features are in-house and don't require any additional costs.

Juniper is Cloud Ready

A couple of years ago, Juniper began investing heavily in cloud technologies — and it looks like those investments are paying off. By acquiring Mist AI, Juniper has been able to greatly accelerate their cloud platform.

By leveraging AI and machine learning, Juniper has invented ways of greatly streamlining and simplifying the cloud configuration process. For instance, Mist AI uses an interface named Marvis to assist in troubleshooting networks. It can find viable solutions by mining logs, reviewing past issues, and performing analyses on the current software state. Once it has the solution, Marvis will give you the option to apply the fixes automatically. (Or automagically, as they say.)

In addition to Marvis and Mist AI, Juniper can satisfy your cloud experience by offering SD-WAN, which stands for Software Defined Wide Area Network. While it is important to note that the SD-WAN is not a proprietary Juniper product, it is greatly enhanced by the Juniper Mist AI architecture.

One of the great things about SD-WAN is that it can use the internet as a secure and reliable form of data transmission. In other words, it does not have to travel via a central data center to determine where the traffic needs to go. By removing the hop to a central server, latency is greatly reduced. Juniper can make use of AI to determine the quickest and most efficient way to route data amongst your SaaS applications.

If you would like to make an SD-WAN solution your organization's reality, you will need four products: a session smart router, WAN Assurance software, SRX Series Gateways, and NFX Series Network Service Platform.

Juniper is Here to Stay

All of the aforementioned benefits are excellent reasons to choose Juniper, but it doesn't mean much if the company itself isn't doing too hot. After all, no one wants to invest in an IT solution that will quickly become obscure and obsolete. Thankfully, Juniper has been firing on all cylinders and will continue to do so.

Juniper currently holds a respectable size of the market share and continues to eat into Cisco's profits. Also, according to their 2023 quarterly report, they have had a 1% decrease in net revenue. They expect their revenue to increase by 2.2% for Q4 2023.

So what does all of this mean for your organization? It means you don't have to worry about the company downsizing and losing out on much-needed support. It also means you can have confidence that Juniper will continue to develop competitive technologies at a regular pace.

An important recent development for Juniper is its acquisition by HPE, announced in early 2024. This $14 billion acquisition is a strategic move that underlines Juniper's continued relevance in the networking space. With HPE's backing, Juniper is set to expand its market presence and enhance its product offerings, particularly in areas like AI-driven networking solutions.

This partnership promises to strengthen Juniper's competitive position against Cisco, offering more robust and innovative solutions to its customers

Final Thoughts

In the year 2024, there has never been a better time to sign a contract with Juniper Networks. As we look towards the future, Juniper's acquisition by HPE marks a turning point for the company. This significant move not only boosts Juniper's financial standing but also aligns it with HPE's broader technological and market strategies.

This collaboration is expected to yield enhanced networking solutions, combining Juniper's expertise in AI and cloud technologies with HPE's vast resources. For customers and stakeholders, this signifies Juniper's strengthened capability to innovate and compete in the evolving IT landscape.

The financial outlook for Juniper is excellent, so there shouldn't be any worry about the company's longevity or competitive edge. Their price points are considerably cheaper than the leading competitors. Lastly, their product line allows for more flexibility when choosing telephonic and cloud-based solutions. For instance, Cisco offers an all-in-one solution — unlike Juniper which is more specialized.

It is no secret that Juniper is giving Cisco a run for their money. Juniper has done an excellent job growing their customer-centric applications, their cloud-based solutions, and core routing hardware. As long as they continue to grow as forecasted, they will always be a viable alternative to Cisco.


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