Foundry Networks at Interop on Sept. 18 sought to further segment the application switching market with a pair of new entry-level switches that pack more high-end features into a lower-cost offering.
The new Foundry ServerIron 4G and ServerIron 4G-SSL switches are aimed at small and midsize data centers supporting about one thousand users.
They include a Web firewall to protect Web-enabled applications from service disruption threats and add more resiliency features than many existing low-end application switches.
The ServerIron 4G-SSL includes hardware-based Secure Socket Layer acceleration to offload SSL processing from servers to free more CPU power for content delivery, according to Gopala Tumuluri, director of product marketing for Layer 4 – 7 switching at Foundry in Santa Clara, Calif.
"The integrated SSL acceleration is ideal for Web-based applications, especially those that use HTTPS," he said.
The ServerIron 4G-SSL can support up to 500 Mbps of SSL encryption throughput and it can handle 1500 new SSL connections per second.
Both the ServerIron 4G and 4G-SSL bring to an entry-level class switch such functions as redundant, hot-swappable AC and DC power supplies; global server load balancing for multisite redundancy; and Gigabit rate Denial of Service attack protection.
"One of the unique things about this family is that it is the only switch with redundant AC and DC power options and redundant, removable hot swappable power supplies. No other switch at this level has these capabilities," Tumuluri said.
"These are deployed typically in front of the most critical applications, where power redundancy is a most basic capability," he added.
Both of the ServerIron 4G switches also have a dedicated processor for device control and management, which is another unique attribute, Tumuluri said.
They compete with other entry-level application switches from rivals F5 Networks, Cisco Systems and Radware.
The switches optimize bandwidth usage using HTTP compression and server connection offload with HTTP connection pooling. They are rated for 40,000 HTTP connections per second for load balancing HTTP traffic, said Tumuluri.
The ServerIron 4G is intended for non-Web IP applications such as e-mail and VOIP (voice over IP).
Both switches provide four ports that can support both copper and fiber media. The copper links support a combination of 100M bps and 1000M bps speeds and the fiber links support 1G bps.
The ServerIron 4G is $11,995, and the ServerIron 4G-SSL is $14,995. Both are due in early October.