Today's Juniper announcement marks their entry into the Ethernet switching space, one which is dominated by Cisco. In my view, it makes enterprises think twice about procurement strategies which rely on a single vendor (Cisco) solution, with lost agility and poorer price/performance.
That said, Juniper will be challenged on a number of fronts:
#1 Enterprise is not carrier. Juniper has been successful in taking away Cisco share in the carrier router market, but their recent entry into the enterprise router market has resulted in a 1% share (according to Dell'Oro). One reason is that enterprise requirements and drivers are very different than those of carriers. A stock exchange is far more demanding in terms of real-time reliability and performance requirements than any mass market consumer application.
#2 Ethernet switching is not routing. Success requires competencies such as understanding the L2/L3 switched network architecture, intelligence distribution for optimal performance and lowest TCO, wiring closet environments including green IT and PoE, resilient stackability and powering, wireless LANs security, roaming etc, and much more (just look at the breadth of 802.1 standards). These core competencies come with years of experience in building highly scalable Ethernet networks with thousands of wiring closets.
#3 Convergence is not just a multimedia bit stream. Enterprises are moving to VoIP and UC and expect their networking suppliers to have the ability to deliver end-to-end solutions, and the experience in designing and deploying converged networks.
Enterprises should demand choice, and choose vendors that best meet their business needs. From our side, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to enterprises that our solutions deliver improved network resilience, better network performance and lower TCO, than either Cisco or Juniper.