Array Enhances All-in-One Networking Device

The networking startup is beefing up the performance of its caching abilities and adding new security features in its latest release of its network device.

Array Networks Inc., a networking startup combining multiple IP services into a single network device, is beefing up the performance of its caching abilities and adding new security features in its latest release.

Array, of Campbell, Calif., on Monday is announcing Version 3.1 of its operating system for its Array Web Traffic Manager platforms. Available next week, the new version includes Arrays SpeedCache technology for its caching services that company officials say will increase cache utilization by as much as 50 percent and reduce loads on back-end servers.

It also incorporates greater SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) features, what Array is calling "SSL on the inside," by adding encryption on traffic flowing from the Array device to the origin server and not just to outside connections, said Steve Shah, director of product management for Array.

Array first launched its devices in September of 2001. They come in two models, the Array 500 and the Array 1000, and provide as many as seven IP services. The services are Layer 4-to-Layer 7 load balancing, a firewall called Webwall, SSL acceleration, caching, content rewrite, clustering and global server load balancing.

Along with improved caching and new SSL features, Arrays Version 3.1 also provides a new Web-based user interface called the Array Pilot for managing the devices and an API into the devices for the integration of third-party applications.

Arrays latest enhancements come as competition is increasing for all-in-one networking devices. Other startups, such as Nauticus Networks Inc. and Inkra Networks Corp., have announced switches that combine multiple IP services, such as load balancing and SSL acceleration. Other vendors with single-service devices, such as F5 Networks Inc. for load balancing and CacheFlow Inc. for caching, have been expanding the number of services offered in their devices.

Arrays Shah said that one difference with Arrays devices is they combine IP services in such a way that IP packets need only travel the TCP/IP stack once for all the networking functions, rather than repeating the process as often is the case in other combined products. Called Speed Stack, the technology improves performance by reducing processing time, he said.

The Array 500 is shipped standard with server load balancing, the firewall and clustering, and starts at $4,000. The Array 1000, which includes greater performance than the 500, comes standard with server load balancing, the firewall, clustering and caching, and starts at $14,995. Customers can turn on additional features for an added cost.