Ranch Networks Inc. is rolling out its first product, an appliance that combines the capabilities of many single-function boxes by performing tasks that range from firewalling to shaping traffic to imposing quality-of-service rules. The start-up’s RN20 sits in the traffic flow of a network and can balance traffic loads among servers, manage bandwidth, deliver IP multicast traffic and switch traffic at Layer 2. It also includes a firewall that can create up to 12 security zones, each with unique inbound and outbound policies, to segment networks. Ranch has 15 employees and is backed by about US$10 million in venture funding.

Having a SIP

Zultys Technologies Inc. in March announced an IP phone for its IP PBX phone system, aimed at integrating converged applications and simplifying telephony management and administration. The ZIP 4×4 IP phone is based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and can work with Zultys’ MX1200, a Linux- and SIP-based IP PBX. The phone could be used to deploy applications such as instant messaging and encrypted voice traffic while easing end-user administration with automated registration and device software updating features. Zultys says all competing SIP phones can operate on its MX1200 IP PBX. The ZIP 4×4 will be available this month for US$400.

Intel expands

Expanding its line of networking products, Intel Corp. last month announced a series of Ethernet devices, including a gigabit Ethernet controller for PCs and a 10 gigabit Ethernet network interface card for servers. The network interface card costs US$7,995 and is designed to connect LAN-based servers to corporate networks so they can run bandwidth-hungry applications such as imaging and data mirroring. The 10 gigabit Ethernet interface card, known as the PRO/10GbE LR Server Adapter, is the first such device designed for servers, Intel said. The technology previously was used to connect switches, primarily in supercomputing applications.