Network and content speeding showcased at N+I

A diverse group of vendors, including F5 Networks Inc., FineGround Networks Inc., and Fireclick Inc., are gearing up to whip enterprise networks into shape at NetWorld+Interop in Atlanta this week.

Seattle-based traffic management device vendor F5 Networks at the show plans to unveil its Big-IP 5000, an application switch designed to manage traffic for enterprise Web services and applications. The device combines Layer 7 software functionality, integrated SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) processing and high port density to boost Web server performance and security, according to company officials.

Combining the functions of a server appliance, security device, and switch in a single box can help streamline corporate networks, according to Jeff Pancottine, senior vice president of marketing and business development at F5.

"Enterprises are looking for less complex, more manageable, and more secure environments," he said. "We've taken the best of the software, switch, and appliance world and combined them in this."

F5's Big-IP 5000 provides technology that is needed in the market in a form factor that enterprise managers can make sense of, according to Todd Hanson, principal analyst at Garner Dataquest, in San Jose, California.

"We have seen tremendous value from different types of feature/functionality being released on software, software servers, and applications. Now we are seeing these features rolled into devices that network managers can use and understand," Hanson said.

Also on hand at the show, FineGround Networks, based in Campbell, California, will release Version 3.0 of its Condenser software, which is designed to accelerate the delivery of dynamic Web content by sending only the difference between successive page downloads.

Condenser 3.0 adds a FlashForward Object Acceleration feature, which speeds the delivery of embedded objects such as graphics and style sheets, according to Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing. This feature can reduce upstream and downstream network traffic and eliminate delays, he said.

Meanwhile, Los Altos, California-based Fireclick at the show will be previewing Netflame2, a hosted service that uses predictive caching technology to speed page downloads and automate the consolidation of log files, according to company officials. Netflame2's reporting tool, dubbed Realtime Insite, is designed to automatically merge server logs across a server farm to create a real-time and historical report on site performance.

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