Lucent's new IPWorX adds caching, load balancing

Lucent Technologies continues to push its way into the large enterprise, this time with a three-pronged approach to speeding up Web traffic with its new IPWorX offering.

IPWorX consists of a server load balancing switch, management software, and a caching and replication appliance.

Lucent will resell and co-brand ArrowPoint Communications' CS-100 and CS-800 Content Smart Web switches under the IPWorX banner. The CS-100, a rack-mount switch, will be re-labelled as the WebDirector 100. The CS-800, a chassis-based switch, will be re-labelled as the WebDirector 800 Web switch.

Lucent's IPWorX is made up of three components:

* WebDirector -- The ArrowPoint switches redirect incoming Web traffic from a server farm;* WebController -- Web-based system management software developed by Bell Labs that handle the server load balancing and caching from a single point of control; and* WebCache -- A caching and replication appliance based on patented technology from Bell Labs.

Startup ArrowPoint stands to gain a good deal of visibility and sales from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deal. Since the deal is nonexclusive, ArrowPoint is also trying to resell its product with other LAN switch vendors. Potential suitors include 3Com, Siemens and Alcatel, which haven't yet announced server load balancing switches.

The server load balancing switching market has become crowded, with offerings from Foundry, Alteon, F5 and Cisco. ArrowPoint has distinguished itself with the first chassis-based switch, and load balancing at Layer 7. The URL information is contained in Layer 7, which means that the switch is able to determine the actual page request. This differs from load balancing at Layer 4, which only gives port information.

The ArrowPoint CS-800 can pass 20,000 URL flows per second, according to Chris Lynch, vice president of marketing at ArrowPoint.

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