Traffic Management Tools Gain More Features

Array, Redline and others are putting multiple traffic management functions into one-stop tools.

Facing increasing customer demand, vendors are moving to broaden their offerings for integrated traffic management with products that combine such functions as load balancing, compression and SSL acceleration.

Array Networks Inc., of Campbell, Calif., this week plans to launch two hardware platforms and an operating system to bolster options for enterprises of various sizes.

The TM-X 2000 and TM-X 4000 series platforms, each of which provides two- and six-port Ethernet versions, combine layers 4 through 7 server load balancing, caching, Web wall security, dynamic content compression, link load balancing and clustering. The platforms include Arrays SpeedStack technology to exclude redundant TCP/IP processing.

The TM-X 2000 can handle up to 4,000 concurrent Secure Sockets Layer connections at 100M-bps throughput, while the TM-X 4000 can accommodate 32,000 concurrent SSL links at 750M bps.

In TM Version 6.0, Array added policy-based routing; preconfigured reports; synchronized, multisite disaster recovery; and link redundancy to the platforms software.

For Array users at General Physics Corp., a subsidiary of GP Strategies Corp., the multisite disaster recovery for site-to-site failovers "could make us upgrade to the next version," said Christopher Olive, principal engineer in the GPE Learning Group, in Elk Ridge, Md. "That increases our availability and disaster recovery ability by orders of magnitude."

Arrays news follows Redline Networks Inc.s recent launch of an application delivery platform that can support 10,000 SSL connections per second. The Redline E|X 3670 doubles the throughput of the Campbell, Calif., companys existing units by accelerating and offloading encryption and compression.

F5 Networks Inc., not considered a leader in the consolidation race, is nonetheless working on integrating compression into its Big-IP Controller under the project name "Buffalo Jump," according to company officials in Seattle. F5 seeks to provide more seamless integration of various functions, including SSL acceleration, layers 4 through 7 switching, deep-packet inspection, security filtering and more. The hardware/ software upgrade to Big-IP is due later this quarter, with a launch expected toward the end of next month, according to Erik Giesa, vice president of product management.

"Array, NetScaler [Inc.], Redline are all growing because theyre starting to see enterprises adopt front ends for their new Web-enabled applications," said Lynn Nye, president of APM Advisors, in Portland, Ore. "Redline and Array have been aggressive in saying, We can front-end the applications and provide the security.

"[Users] are trying to minimize hardware in their data center. Instead of having SSL acceleration, server load balancing, something to handle SSL VPNs, they can get all those functions on one platform," Nye said.


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