Juniper Phasing Out DX Appliances, Readies LAN Switches

Juniper Networks is reducing the DX product line as it prepares to penetrate the LAN switching market dominated by Cisco.

Juniper Networks confirmed Jan. 25 that it is phasing out over the next six months its DX line of data center-scale application acceleration appliances that it acquired two years ago with the buyout of Redline Networks.

News about the DX phase-out comes as Juniper prepares to launch on Jan. 29 its first foray into the enterprise LAN switching market, according to sources close to the company.

The new switching initiative, code-named Hurricane, will include a series of switches that range from low-end stackables to high-end chassis based products, according to Zeus Kerravala, industry analyst with Yankee Group in Boston.

Kerravala, who gathered details on the Hurricane project from several sources but not Juniper directly, said that the new switches are based on Marvel chip sets and will run the JUNOS operating system.

But, he said, the first switches to be delivered are not the high-end chassis switches, but rather the fixed configuration switches. Juniper plans to release the chassis-based switches nine months later, Kerravala said.

Industry observers have long expected Juniper to move beyond its routing roots and focus on service providers to address switching in the enterprise.

"The odd thing about this announcement is that Juniper has said for years they didn't really need an Ethernet switch to compete in the enterprise networking market. This is somewhat contrarian to things they've stated in the past," Kerravala said.

Juniper, which will seek a premium price for its new switches, will have an uphill battle gaining market share, said Kerravala. "Selling is not the same as having: you need a channel, experience in switching. A product alone doesn't get you in the market," he said.

A Juniper spokesperson declined to comment on Kerravala's disclosures.

However the spokesperson did confirm that Juniper plans to phase out the DX application acceleration appliances.

"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 (five years)," the spokesperson said.