RealTime IT News

Juniper Exits App Acceleration Business

Make no mistake about it, the application acceleration business is a tough one. Case in point: Networking vendor Juniper Networks has decided to discontinue its key DX application acceleration product line.

A company spokesperson confirmed the decision but didn't answer any direct questions about the move.

"The strength of Juniper is based on the competitive advantage that we bring to the market, coupled with the increasing critical nature of high-performance networking to our customer's business success," Juniper spokesperson Sarah Sorensen said in an e-mail comment for InternetNews.com. "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."

Although Juniper is terminating the DX line, it's not necessarily exiting the acceleration business altogether. However, Juniper has decided to end-of-life the DX hardware, software and licenses.

In past years, Juniper had boasted about high profile deployments of its DX gear, including a large deployment at Dow Corning. In December of 2007, Juniper announced that its DX platform had been certified for SAP's NetWeaver platform.

The technology behind Juniper's DX product line came by way of the 2005 acquisition of Redline Networks for $132 million.

So what happened? The application acceleration business is extremely competitive. The revelation that Juniper is ending its DX product line comes as Cisco has just announced a new set of products as part of its Application Delivery Network strategy.

Though the DX line is now kaput, Juniper isn't abandoning its current DX customers.

"We will work diligently to continue to support existing customer installations of the DX and successfully work to transition customers to other application acceleration products within our high-performance network infrastructure offerings," Sorensen wrote. "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 recent months, Juniper has updated the other part of its acceleration portfolio, the WX product line, which had originally been positioned as a WAN optimization solution. It is not yet clear whether Juniper will be integrating the capabilities of the DX into its WX product line.

"At Juniper, our cornerstone principle of putting employees first and investing in their success continues to correlate directly to the success of our company," Juniper's Sorenson wrote. "In a business environment of constant change, we maintain a relentless commitment to execution and serving the high-performance networking requirements of our customers."

At least one Juniper competitor in the application acceleration market sees Juniper's move to end the DX as being unexpected

"We really haven't seen Juniper gain much success in the market with the product since then {the 2005 acquisition}," Dan Matte SVP of Marketing at F5 wrote in a blog post. "However, its decision to exit the business is still a bit of a surprise."