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,

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.

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