Juniper is buying Peribit Networks, a developer of WAN optimisation technology, and application front end vendor Redline Networks.

The Peribit buy is worth $337 million and the Redline purchase $132 million. Both are cash and stock transactions.

The acquisitions will help Juniper add intelligence to its routing and security services. WAN optimisation technology gives LAN-quality performance over a WAN; application front ends maximise the performance, flexibility and scalability of data centres.

It certainly gets the thumbs up from Techworld's resident sysadmin Dave Cartwright. "F****** hell, that will be awesome," was his carefully considered response. Peribit is renowned for its packet optimisation and Juniper has a reputation for successfully integrating companies - part of the reason it has gone from nowhere to number two in its market in under a year.

Juniper is in an acquisition mood at the moment. In March, it also announced plans to purchase session border controller vendor Kagoor Networks.

Citing data from Gartner, Juniper CEO Scott Kriens says the application acceleration market was $1 billion in 2004 and growing. "Application acceleration is the best kept secret in networking," he boasted of his company's new jewels. The purchases also move Juniper further into the business market, which it entered a year ago in a $4 billion buy of VPN and firewall leader NetScreen.

Both Peribit and Redline were founded in 2000. Peribit has 900 customers, 150 of which are Fortune 1000 firms. Redline has 350 enterprise customers.

Peribit's appliances are designed to increase WAN capacity, speed applications, improve network efficiency and provide useful stats on how the whole network is doing. Redline's Application Front Ends maximize the performance and scalability of Web-enabled data centres and websites.

The combined revenue for both Peribit and Redline was approximately $40 million in 2004. Juniper will inherit 200 new employees and form a new internal group called the Applications Products Group.