Citrix Systems on May 1 will launch its new Citrix NetScaler 12000 platform, intended for use by large Internet-centric customers and enterprises.
Also on Monday, Coyote Point Systems will introduce its new Equalizer Series E550 load balancer and traffic management appliance supporting 100,000 concurrent connections per second and 12 million concurrent sessions.
With these announcements, the two companies join Radware, which also announced a new high-end hardware platform recently.
"At the moment weve seen quite a few going the extra mile and touting their scale," said Robert Whiteley, industry analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.
Citrix, which established itself as a high-performance application delivery controller for large e-commerce providers such as eBay, Federal Express and MSN, is seeing its customers "doing far more with these Web applications than they did three or four years ago," said Wes Wasson, vice president of marketing in the Citrix ANG (Application Networking Group) in San Jose, Calif. "So they need much higher application layer throughput and they have to have higher SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] transaction throughput, because more and more transactions are going through those encrypted tunnels."
Wesson said those same customers want to do more than load balancing and caching in their application delivery controllers as well.
"They want to apply policies to applications, such as doing more inspection of the traffic and more intelligent routing based on the content. They want to do more advanced compression, apply policies for XML and Web Services traffic. Each of those are processor-intensive and so require a lot more processing power," he said.
At the same time, new demand for high-end application delivery controllers is coming from large enterprises for internal Web application initiatives, Whiteley said. "People are investing more and more in application infrastructure. Most new application investments are very distributed or are Web-based. They need to have a new generation of load balancers, traffic management and Web accelerators. All these boxes have a home in the enterprise and everyone is revamping their product line to recapture that space," he said.
The new NetScaler 12000 provides dual processors; doubles the number of Gigabit Ethernet ports from four to eight; boosts the aggregate throughput from 4.5 gigabits per second to 6G bps; and increases the number of concurrent SSL transactions per second from 10,000 to 30,000 over the current NetScaler 10,000 high-end hardware platform.
"The platform is about horsepower. It enables that throughput with more processing power, more memory, dual SSL chips on board. But the real magic is about software built with the idea that it should be able to add very high-speed packet processing and apply all these things—compression, application security, traffic management, load balancing, content switching," Wesson said.
"This is a much faster box," said Justin Shaffer, vice president and chief architect at MLB Advanced Media, the online arm of Major League Baseball in New York. With the technology, "We can consolidate space in the data center and grow without additional investments in space and hardware beyond these new chassis," he said. The product is due at the end of May.
Coyote Point, meanwhile, will seek to move beyond its SMB (small and midsize business) roots to address larger enterprises with its new 20-port Gigabit Ethernet chassis.
The Equalizer Series e550 provides HTTP and SSL acceleration, content compression and an application firewall, and it can be managed using SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) software.
Coyote is looking to capture more international customers with the new e550 series, which officials claim is one of the first network infrastructure offerings made in the United States that complies with the European Unions Restriction of Hazardous Substances standard. That standard is also expected to be applied soon to Asia-Pacific nations.
The Equalizer Series is due by July.