Web acceleration gear offers pay-for-use plan

Array Networks (formerly ClickArray Networks) next week plans to announce a new CEO and a product bundling arrangement for its multi-function Web acceleration technology that lets users pay only for what they use.

Array's pay-per-use model will keep costs down for e-commerce sites, which is a big issue now that companies are slashing IT budgets and reviewing expansion plans very carefully, said Bruce Matulich, vice president of corporate planning and development.

Array Networks is giving users a way to turn on and turn off features in the appliance, such as caching or load balancing. Users would pay only for the functions they use.

That flexibility will help users meet demand on e-commerce sites, which can fluctuate rapidly, according to observers. It may also be a good option for businesses just getting their feet wet in e-commerce - allowing them to plan for future needs without having to buy right away. Array can remotely turn features on, said Matulich.

However, Array did not reveal any pricing details of the pay-per-use model, which it says will begin next year.

New CEO Donald Massaro had served as president of Xerox's Office Product Division prior to joining Array. Array offers a multi-function family of appliances for Web acceleration that feature Layer 4-7 switching and load balancing, caching, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) acceleration. The products also help content delivery networks (CDN) with traffic management features, Web security, global server load balancing, and clustering.

The Array 500 series is designed for small Web sites and is priced at US$7,000. It features 100M bit/sec throughput. The Array 1000 series is priced at $25,000 and is designed for large Web sites. Array says it features 99.9% uptime and the ability to fail over to more than 30 additional 1000 series systems. It offers 16G bit/sec throughput - power enough for about 640,000 new requests per second. Array's 1000 competes with Cisco's Arrowpoint CSS 11800 and Nortel's Alteon 180e series switches.

Array Networks, which recently moved headquarters to Campbell, Calif., launched its Array product family in the third quarter of this year. It received $31.1 million in first round funding, led by H&Q Asia Pacific and U.S. Venture Partners.

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