F5 adds speed to switches

F5 Networks this week is announcing a high-end version of its Big-IP layers 4-7 switch, a compression card, and an updated version of its software all designed to improve performance.

F5's new flagship switch, the Big-IP 6800 Application Switch, combines extensive server and application acceleration functions into a high-performance network device. It combines SSL (secure sockets layer) processing, HTTP compression, rate shaping, and authentication enforcement and advanced application networking.

The latest release of the company's Traffic Management Operating System (TM/OS), Version 9, is optimized for better performance, company officials said. The release is capable of processing as many as 110,000 Layer 7 connections per second.

The company also is announcing an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit)-based compression technology that delivers 2Gbps of sustained HTTP compression for its BIG-IP 6400 Application Switch.

"The Big-IP product's revolutionary TM/OS architecture, announced four months ago, enables F5 to deliver significant new capabilities and performance enhancements at an industry-leading pace," said Jason Needham, director of product management at F5. "As a result, this enables F5 to not only push the performance envelope in terms of speed and scalability, but also address customers' unique application delivery requirements, which are growing in complexity at record rates," he said.

The new release of the HTTP Compression card, the Big-IP 6800 Application Switch, and the Big-IP 6400 FIPS Application Switch will be available in the first half of February. The Big-IP 6800 base price is US$49,995, and the Big-IP 6400 Application Switch with FIPS is US$71,990.