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Juniper's Gotta Have That Funk

The networking company buys a firewall software outfit for $122 million.

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) Report

is playing a little more defense with the acquisition of

Funk Software

, a closely held network security shop.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet-gear maker agreed to pay $122 million in cash for the Cambridge, Mass., tech shop.

Funk was founded in 1982 and boasts 5,000 business customers, including

EMC

(EMC)

,

Caterpillar

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and

Merck

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. The company will bring its firewall technology to Juniper's router hardware offering.

Juniper has been using security applications, like those brought in under its acquisition of Netscreen, to win more so-called enterprise customers.

Funk has 140 employees, including about 60 engineers. The rest work in marketing and administration. Juniper is paying $870,000 a head for Funk, which compares with the $1.2 million per-employee rate set in recent acquisitions by

Cisco

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and others in the networking industry.

Juniper shares dropped 47 cents to $23.52 in afternoon trading Monday.