Radware Puts More Muscle Into SynApps

Switch manufacturer Radware is putting more muscle in its software, announcing the general availability of SynApps Next Generation, officials announced Monday.

SynApps is the software that dictates the actions of its switching product line, sometimes referred to as softswitching , which is like its biological namesake, synapse, which is the “minute space between a nerve cell and another nerve cell… through which nerve impulses are transmitted from one to the other,” according to Webster’s College Dictionary.

In the biological sense, SynApps has added some new impulses to its software: bandwidth management, application acceleration, advanced health monitoring, intrusion detection and DoS protection, and traffic redirection.

According to Michael Rothschild, Radware product management senior manager, the extra capabilities won’t result in performance losses, given the increased filtering the next generation software will be conducting.

“Of course with all these different areas, the question is what about degradation of service, doesn’t that slow down the network?” he said. “And that’s where the switch part of our service delivery comes in, which is being able to operate up to 3 [Gpbs ] at layer 7 [of the OSI Model ].”

Two of the new components in the latest update of SynApps fit particularly well with many of today’s enterprise systems — advanced health monitoring and security.

Not getting a ping isn’t enough for administrators to determine what has gone with a network server. The advanced health monitor checks to see what particular part of an end user transaction is slowing down the process, whether that’s SSL , a database or transactional software issue. A mandatory health check allows administrators to define what exactly pieces need to be tested when it’s conducted, using a GUI window to check off required network elements to be tested.

Radware also boosted security with the release of its new SynApps offering. Security updates are available 2-5 hours after the identification of a virus, Rothschild said, through a partnership with an anti-virus vendor, though he said the company also gets a lot of information from its Asian customers, who are normally hit first by a virus hours before U.S. or European network administrators get up in the morning. Also included in the security update is a sampling algorithm to check for the presence of a DOS attack on the network.

Colleges, universities and ISPs might find more use from another component of the new SynApps module — bandwidth management. Rothschild points to one example of one college that was seeing 90 percent network utilization throughout the day, not the spikes and valleys you’d normally see during the course of a full day. Eventually, administrators found out all the traffic was coming from P2P file sharing among the student. Problem is, the traffic was preventing official Web business from happening.

You can’t just shut down their traffic, Rothschild said, but you can give higher priority to the type of traffic that’s important. An easy determination can be had just by finding out what port a particular application uses, as well as the source and destination IP addresses.

The overall goal, Rothschild said, of the new software upgrade is to provide a more centralized and encompassing management capability for network administrators.

“[They] really wrap around our existing product offering to ensure that each application gets the attention that it needs from a more holistic perspective to ensure the company’s mission-critical goals and technology with what is traditionally a generic network.”

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