Juniper speeds apps through network with three products

Three new products join the 'hot, emerging' application acceleration market

Juniper Networks announced three new products Monday to accelerate movement of applications through networks in the data center and WAN.

The products are part of a "hot, emerging market" for application acceleration products, which has involved several mergers of smaller companies with larger ones in recent months, said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group in Boston.

Two of the new products, the DX 3280 and DX 3680 are designed for application acceleration in data centers, and the hardware is being announced with a new version of software, DXOS v 5.2, according to a company statement. The DX 3280 will ship in early 2007, starting at US$24,995, while the DX 3680 is available today, starting at US$49,995.

A new Juniper WAN acceleration product, the WXC 590 is available now, starting at US$24,995, with new WX CMS v5.4 software starting at US$5,795 for a license for 10 platforms, the company said. Two appliances on a single link can support 45Mbit/sec. throughput to 140 sites, according to the company.

Keith Wingate, network administrator at Mustang Engineering, said he wants to test the new WXC 590 sometime soon to improve throughput of complex data used by civil engineers passing Computer Aided Design drawings and related data. Currently, Mustang runs WXC 500 appliances in four remote locations, working with similar Juniper gear in a data center in Houston, U.S., Wingate said.

The WXC 500s have been used about a year, with theoretical throughput of 40Mbit/sec., he noted. However, in actual use, the throughput of the applications runs about 10Mbit/sec, he said, which is still a vast improvement over having no application acceleration products before a year ago, Wingate added.

"Before Juniper, we had slow application loading, lasting many seconds so there were long delays for engineers," Wingate said. "With WXC, applications loaded in sub-seconds, almost as if the users in remote site were on the LAN," he said.

While the WXC has provided a great speed improvement, he added, "they are a little tricky to set up sometimes. But once you are through those headaches, it's good."

Mustang has about 3,000 users, and has been following the application acceleration market and has evaluated at least one other vendor, which he asked not be identified, but has decided it wouldn't be feasible to switch with the sizable investment already made to Juniper.

Kerravala said the WAN acceleration market is about US$400 million in sales this year, with the data center acceleration market at about an additional US$600 million. Juniper competes with F5 Networks, Packeteer, Riverbed Technology, Citrix Systems and Cisco Systems, Kerravala said.

Juniper and several others have bought up smaller companies in the past year, but Juniper has lagged somewhat in describing its technology vision for tying its products together, Kerravala added.

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