On Juniper
3 min read

On Juniper

Thoughts on the acquisition of Juniper

I've been sitting with this for a short bit.... but I think it's time for some comments on the Juniper acquisition by HP



It's a rather eerie coincidence that I sat down to write this post a year to the date of my post about waffling about CCIE / JNCIE . The waffling continued; However, I had done some reflection.

That reflection concluded that I've met/heard of so many Paper CCIE's but I've never met - nor heard of - a Paper JNCIE. In fact, all of the people I've met in my career, that have a JNCIE, have been excellent, if not superb. Looking at you Yufeng, Randy, Dakota, etc.

Side-bar... just look at this UD definition of a a CCIE: Cringe

That made me think about pursuing the JNCIE this year. Especially given that it's practically free:

An image showing the details of the free/discounted training for Juniper Network Certifications
Note that I screenshotted this because I believe it's highly likely the link will 404 soon

I think Juniper will keep this program going for the duration it would take me to hit JNCIE; However, I'm concerned about the value of Juniper branding, considering what's happened with other products swallowed by HP.

Just happy I didn't list it in my goals.

The Platform

Along with many of my colleagues, I have a lot of love for Juniper & JunOS.

  • It feels like a platform made for operators that live in the terminal and actually solve problems.
  • It has dedicated commands for verbose, terse & detailed outputs. Pattern matching & configuration layout has a great hierarchy
  • It supports commit-based configuration on all platforms
  • The information output is well structured, as it litters onto your screen.
  • The feature support is often top-notch (automation, slicing, protocols, etc).
  • The documentation has been relatively great
  • Unshy about the FreeBSD underpinnings (or Linux with Junos Evolved).

In the argument of Pets vs Cattle, it's a treasured pet.

Fond Memories

I first truly worked with Juniper back in September of 2015, when I started working for a DC / MSP company. One side of our core was Juniper (EX & MX platform) along with a new offering featuring SRX boxes.

That exposure only increased as I migrated to working for an ISP. I have such fond memories on creating documentation for VLAN-Aware VPWS's (E-LINE) for a migration to QFX switches.

I also have fond memories tracing an obscure VRF across the country across several MX's and coming up with a strategy to absorb it into our Multi-tenant Private cloud solution, with overly complex stitching & route-policies.

Then there was that time I had 3-5 SRX's, two EX4200's in my employee co-location & this M20 sucking all that free electricity in my old apartment:

A picture of a very large and very old Juniper router
Seemed like a good idea at the time

In general, I simply had a great time with Juniper; My love of Juniper is what made me favour the shells of VyOS & IOS-XR.

Looking Forward

I may still try to rush out the JNCIE. I think it could push me to do a lot of the studying I've been holding back on in the past few years; However, I don't think I'd consider it a ticket to the next stage in my career - I think that title is reserved for becoming a better coder / NetDev.

I also acknowledge that HP swallowing Juniper will be a slow process. Their ISP side still fills a gap that HP currently can't.

In the mean time, there's lots of discussion out there. Here's one I quite enjoyed from my RSS feeds:

HPE Buys Juniper