Anyone interested in buying a Juniper DX application-acceleration box better do it soon, because the very last day to buy one is September 15, after which all models will be dropped from the product line.
Depending on the box, the last day to order could be as soon as June 30, with other models phasing out on July 1, July 7 and September 15. Support for the devices is available for five years.
Because Juniper Networks hasn't defined any particular road map for DX users, speculation as to what the company might do with the DX technology is a topic of interest for customers. Theoretically, the company could integrate DX technology into some of its other gear, such as the company's recently announced EX 4200 stackable switches designed for data centers. As many as 10 of the devices can be strapped together into a logical switch, with each chassis capable of acting as a separately functioning hardware module within the switch.
That seems unlikely, says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst for the Yankee Group. "That would be a logical thought, but it doesn't look like they're doing that," he says. "This market opportunity is gone for them."
What Juniper says in response to questions about the migration path for its DX customers is this: "We are committed to working with our customers and plan to reallocate investments and resources to continue innovation on our existing and future product lines, including the WAN acceleration, security and routing technologies within our high-performance network-infrastructure offerings." What that probably means, Kerravala says, is that Juniper has decided to take the money it would have spent developing DX technology and spend it somewhere else: the other product lines mentioned in its statement.
Meanwhile, Juniper competitors are clamoring to draw DX customers away from Juniper with offers on their own gear that include discounts for the DXs they replace. For example, Zeus Technology will swap out DXs for one of its own application-acceleration boxes with no cost for the Zeus box. The DX has to work, the customer pays for shopping and the offer expires at the end of the month. Support and maintenance cost extra.
Crescendo Networks will let DX customers trade in the boxes for Crescendo gear at what the company calls "aggressive pricing plus incentives." Its offer is good through March 28.
Meanwhile, Kerravala described Juniper as a minority player in load-balancing and application acceleration, ceding to the likes of Cisco, Citrix Systems and F5 Networks.
Here is the full text of the most recent statement from Juniper about killing off the DX. It is similar to a statement issued two weeks ago, but has some additions:
"The strength of Juniper is based on the competitive advantage that we bring to the market, coupled with the increasing criticality of high-performance networking to our customers' business success. Our ability to deliver sustained differentiation is the nexus of the opportunity in front of us and this is what defines us. We remain fully committed to capitalizing on this opportunity.
"To this end, Juniper has made the formal decision to phase out the DX product line. Over the next six months customers can continue to purchase the DX product. After this time period, Juniper is dedicated to supporting customer installations of the DX for half a decade (5 years). We are committed to working with our customers and plan to reallocate investments and resources to continue innovation on our existing and future product lines, including the WAN acceleration, security and routing technologies within our high-performance network infrastructure offerings.
"At Juniper, our cornerstone principle of putting employees first and investing in their success continues to correlate directly to the success of our company. And with more than 400 currently open positions at Juniper, every effort is being made to identify new roles for all employees affected by this decision. In a business environment of constant change, we maintain a relentless commitment to execution and serving the high-performance networking requirements of our customers."