RealTime IT News

F5 Networks Unleashes Die Hard Traffic Switch

Internet traffic switch maker F5 Networks Inc. Tuesday unleashed its next generation content switch designed to manage large amounts of Internet content and traffic at top line speeds.

Dubbed the BIG-IP Content Switch, the first switch of its kind will be put to use delivering dynamic traffic solutions on an advanced network operated by Intel Corp. .

Carl Amdahl, F5 Networks chief technical officer, said the new switch meets the demands that e-commerce traffic can readily exceed on today's networks.

"Intel's network processing technology not only allows us to outperform ASIC-based switches, but also yields a highly flexible, scalable product that enables us to respond swiftly to customer requirements," Amdahl said.

Integrated through a standard PCI interface, the new F5 switch is designed to provide a superior solution for companies engaged in the demanding e-commerce market place. The switch combines high-performance network processing with capabilities with flexible, intelligent, and scalable central processing for advanced application layer management.

Amdahl added that the new switch combines the best of both worlds for ease of use and durability.

"By embracing the best of both worlds, the BIG-IP Content Switch delivers F5's advanced software capabilities like the richest set of Cookie persistence modes, SSL management, and HTTP header load balancing, URL parsing and more, at unprecedented performance," Amdahl said.

Doug Carrigan, Intel Network Processing Group director of product marketing, said flexibility in packaging provides a unique advantage of the BIG-IP Content Switch over its advanced network.

"The power and flexibility of the Intel IXP1200 Network Processor enables F5 to provide a highly flexible and scalable solution for advanced content switching," Carrigan said. "And because the IXP1200 is re-programmable, F5 is able to rapidly respond to their customers' requests for enhanced features with software upgrades."

Enterprises can purchase the BIG-IP Content Switch as a field upgrade add-in card for their existing BIG-IP Controllers or purchase it as an optional feature on any BIG-IP product. F5's partners may embed the BIG-IP Content Switch within their servers and switches to complement their product offerings.

In addition to working with Intel, F5's partners include Dell Computer Corp., Exodus Communications, Inc. , and Qwest Communications, Inc. .

F5's new content switch will be put to work on partner's systems to pave the road for a new breed of ultra high-performance content switching built on industry standard platforms.

Gene Austin, Dell Internet Server Products vice president and general manager, said the new switch is so fast it's tough enough to withstand millions of Web site hits daily.

"The BIG-IP switch also can easily grow as Web site traffic volume rapidly increases," Austin said. "ISPs, dot.coms, and enterprise website managers tell us this is just what they're looking for and we'll be delivering it later this year as part of our new PowerApp appliance server family."

First shipments of the BIG-IP Content Switch are scheduled for later this month. F5 plans to issue a new price list by July, complete with upgrade kit options to cover all existing customers.