Foundry Revs Switch Performance

Foundry Networks new Layer 4 through Layer 7 switches offer a new management module for high-performance load balancing and tools to protect from denial-of-service attack.

Foundry Networks Inc. will try to leapfrog competitors in the Layer 4 through Layer 7 switching arena when it launches new modular and stackable switches and operating system enhancements.

Already known as a high-end alternative to Cisco Systems Inc., the San Jose, Calif., company is doubling the performance and density of its modular switches, adding a stackable form factor that provides a range of security functions and increasing the intelligence of its operating system software.

The new ServerIron 450 and ServerIron 850 use next-generation processor technology and a new management module for high-performance load balancing, DoS (denial-of-service) attack protection, and intelligent application scanning and switching, officials said.

The switches are designed to facilitate data center consolidation and the adoption of blade servers. The ServerIron 450 can support up to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and the ServerIron 850 provides up to 112 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both can accommodate a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet module providing one or two ports.

The modular switches can also handle up to 4 million packets in a distributed-denial-of-service attack.

"The performance increase has gotten us to a point where performance is equal across the board, so there isnt a single choke point," said Foundry user Ted Smith, director of network operations at Web hosting company Interland Inc., in Atlanta.

New ServerIron GT stackables, available in four-port or 12-port configurations, combine integrated Secure Sockets Layer termination and acceleration, a high-speed look-up engine that provides wire-speed security policy enforcement, DoS attack mitigation, and server load balancing.

The new operating system release for Foundrys Layer 4 through Layer 7 switches adds integration with applications from vendors such as BEA Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp., switches applications using the Financial Information Exchange protocol, controls spam through policy-based load balancing, and secures Domain Name System servers.

The ServerIron 450 and ServerIron 850 are due by the end of the month and are $34,995 and $38,995, respectively. The ServerIron GT is due this summer, starting at $14,995.

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