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Foundry ups content switch capabilities

Posted: 16 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:foundry networks? html header? xml content? financial information ex-change protocol content? fix protocol content?

Foundry Networks Inc. is expanding its foray into content-switching systems with the launch of chassis-based and stackable products that can switch HTML headers, XML content, Financial Information Ex-change (FIX) protocol content and most Layer 7 traffic.

Foundry bills its ServerIron 450 and 850 chassis systems, as well as its GT fixed-function appliances, as fit for both enterprise applications, such as server load balancing, and service provider duties, such as DNS and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security.

The two chassis platforms use the Web Services Management Module (WSMM-II), based on multiple network processors, and Foundry's JetCore forwarding ASIC, both introduced last year. The key to the ServerIron systems, however, is in linking the hardware to applications to take advantage of switching at Layers 4 through 7 of the Open Systems Interconnect protocol stack.

The application space can include security-specific duties such as protection against spam, denial-of-service attacks and DNS vulnerabilities, said Gopala Tumuluri, product line manager for multilayer switching at Foundry Networks. Such a system can also improve overall performance when deep content inspection of packets is demanded.

The WSMM-II management module is backward-compatible with all of Foundry's 400 and 800 chassis systems, but offers faster, parallelized support for deep packet inspection, the company said. It supports 10Gbps Ethernet uplinks for data center applications. JetCore ASICs are used in several interface modules for the 450 and 850, including an eight-port single-slot mini-GBIC, a 16-port single-slot mini-GBIC, a 16-port gigabit-over-copper interface and a 48-port 10/100 double-slot interface. Both chassis systems are optimized for server center protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks.

The GT fixed-function device performs SSL termination and acceleration, allowing fast transition from HTTP to HTTPs environments. Foundry offers an embedded network processor with a coprocessing lookup engine to ensure that Layer 4 to 7 analysis can take place at wire speed. The GT is offered in a four-port in-line version or a 12-port version for direct attachment to servers. It measures 1.5U high in either configuration.

All hardware platforms ship with Foundry's latest operating system, which includes a third-generation content-analysis engine. Last year, the company introduced its first TrafficWorks environment, which supported HTTP and XML switching, but the latest software operates on such content as Soap, WAP, SIP, and FIX. The OS supports advanced clustering for more effective support of Oracle and PeopleSoft applications.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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