Enterasys inks deal with F5

Enterasys Networks Inc. has inked a deal with switch maker F5 Networks Inc. to resell and integrate F5's iTCM traffic management content software into its switch and router gear.

F5 says the deal will help it grab more users in the enterprise looking for traffic-smart switches, because the combined offering will give network managers end-to-end equipment for everything from Web and e-commerce site content distribution to delivery and control of in-house content and corporate applications.

Specifically, F5's software will give Enterasys users more of a looking glass into their switches and routers by adding Layer 4 through Layer 7 network capabilities, that address network traffic management based on the type of application being used. Application-aware switches add a layer of intelligence that allows network managers to route traffic based on factors like server availability and the type of request for content users need.

Enterasys plans to offer F5's BIG-IP and 3-DNS load balancing software into its X-Pedition line of switch-routers. Enterasys will use F5's iControl API to integrate F5's softwareIn Feb. 2000, F5 promised to release a new motherboard that could be resold by server and switch vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., 3Com Corp., and Cabletron Systems Inc. That motherboard could include F5's BIG-IP cache device.

F5's BIG-IP software, which focuses on traffic management, includes an Active-Active mode that allows two BIG-IP caches to work together to handle larger volumes of traffic and back each other up if one fails. The devices can also route requests based on HTTP header information, allowing network managers to dedicate servers for specific requests. For example, in an e-commerce setting, HTTP-based routing can allow premium users to get the best response time possible.

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