Extreme Networks has unveiled a hardware application switch targeting the Layer 4 to Layer 7 load balancing market.
The SummitPx1 is a hardware appliance designed to identify the application a packet belongs to, then uses that information to switch the packet to the appropriate application server. The process is run at gigabit speed, according to Extreme.
Tony Lee, senior director of marketing at Extreme, claimed the SummitPx1 out-performs software-based load balancing products by taking the CPU-intensive Layer 7 switching functionality out of the server and hard codes it onto the network.
In doing, so Lee said the SummitPx1 can improve a network's efficiency by up to 10 times.
However, Lee said that the SummitPx1 is not limited like most hardware, which is not capable of providing additional functionality unless the silicon its self is changed. Instead, Extreme claims features can be downloaded directly onto the product.
The application switch encompasses a TCP/IP stack, real-time content-analysis and policy criteria. For load balancing, the SummitPx1's content-analysis engine locates cookies and URLs in packets, while the policy engine tracks users, their cookies, and connection loads for servers, according to a statement released by Extreme.
The SummitPx1 will be available from September 24 with a suggested US list price of $US49,995.