May launch for Nokia's BIG-IP 2000 application switch

Nokia will begin shipping its BIG-IP 2000 application switch to all major markets worldwide by the end of May, the Espoo, Finland, company announced Monday.

The iTCM (Internet Traffic and Content Management) switch will be able to support nearly any type of IP (Internet Protocol) traffic and port density, Nokia said in a statement released from its Internet Communications division located in Mountain View, California.

"The BIG-IP 2000 is along the same lines as our BIG-IP 5000 which has been on the market since December, but which is aimed at a much larger server farm configuration than the 2000," said Bob Brace, Nokia vice president of mobile solutions.

The application switch features Layer 7 software functionality for security and onboard SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) acceleration so that the product is able to increase overall performance by redirecting processor-intensive functions from application servers, Brace said.

The BIG-IP 2000, developed in partnership with the Seattle company F5 Networks Inc., also provides an architecture with Ethernet switching, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 16 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports, Nokia said.

"We have been working very closely with F5 on VPN (virtual private networks) solutions since last June. These switches can be placed in front of or behind a firewall, in effect sandwiching the firewall. Because we've integrated the 2000 with firewall and security solutions, the product is more efficient and can save the customer time and money. For example, you can actually test the firewall that is serving up the Web pages," Brace said.

Earlier this month, F5 released Big-IP Link Controller 2000, a box designed to balance loads across Internet access links that can also redirect traffic from one ISP's (Internet service provider's) connection to another connection.

The BIG-IP 2000 will be sold either as a single unit for US$2,500, or redundant pair for $4,400, Brace said.

Nokia declined to name any of its customers that are currently using the BIG-IP 5000 or that are testing the BIG-IP 2000 due to security reasons. Nokia generally competes with companies like Nortel Networks Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc., Brace said.

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