End of life for DX product line creates network disruptions

Competitors launch major customer assault

Australian IT managers are facing serious network disruptions after Juniper announced its decision to end the life of the DX line of hardware, software and licenses.

Juniper Networks has confirmed there will be no migration path for DX customers forcing IT managers to reassess their networks.

The termination of DX application acceleration boxes is seen as a weak point by competitors who have launched full scale marketing assaults to steal Juniper customers.

For example, Crescendo Networks will trade used DX boxes for its own gear to lure frustrated customers. Zeus Technology will replace the DX for one of its own boxes at no cost.

One local customer forced to review its product roadmap and assess other players in the market is Lonely Planet, which receives than five million visitors hits to its Web site each month looking for travel advice, guidebooks and accommodation.

Lonely Planet technical operations manager Bruce Walker said it will pick a DX replacement from current market leaders after its 18 month product lease expires.

"When our lease runs out we will repeat the same method we used to pick Juniper; we'll talk to our network vendor and ask them what they think of the current market leaders," Walker said.

"The choice will pretty much be the big vendors like Citrix, Cisco and F5.

"But we are too busy to act on it now [since] Juniper will continue support until 2011."

The company has saved big bucks with front-end application accelerators. It replaced its simple load balancing solution with DX about two years ago, according to Walker, and can now run a lot less Web servers, support more concurrent online users, and offload compression and SSL to the box.

Geospatial research and data collection company Agrecon deployed DX 3200 boxes about 18 months ago to handle compression, application acceleration and secure socket layer (SSL) encryption.

The company gathers geospatial data from the Bureau of Meteorology and processes it for a diverse range of local and international clients.

Agrecon project manager and head of IT Alicia Button said it will stick will the DX boxes for about another 18 months.

"It doesn't really affect us too much because we were mainly after a security product. We will obviously change vendors but we'll stick through it until our hardware refresh," Button said.

"The model we have is sufficient, although requirements may change if the business changes direction.

"Our environment is really stable so we haven't had to look into another solution yet."

Agrecon was able to ditch an additional security device by installing the DX boxes, and using its firewall and loading balancing between its Canberra headquarters and its disaster recovery site.

The cut off date to buy a DX box is June 28, according to Juniper Networks Australia and New Zealand director of strategic alliances Scott Janney.

He admits customers have been disappointed with the cut-off but believes the overall net effect has been small due to few DX sales.

"We have notified all of our DX customers and they have been obviously disappointed [at the news] because they have made an investment," Janney said.

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