F5 debuts its Big-IP secure transaction products

F5 Networks Inc. last month announced two products aimed at users who want to speed secure transaction processing on their Web and e-commerce sites.

F5’s new products include the Big-IP e-Commerce Controller, a stand-alone appliance, and the Big-IP SSL Accelerator card. Together the products help users reduce the number of Web servers they have to purchase to accommodate secure transactions. Secure transaction processors are becoming increasingly important as companies do more business on-line.

The Big-IP SSL card can be installed in F5’s Big-IP e-Commerce Controller to provide load balancing and secure transaction processing in a single device.

Daryl Dunbar, vice-president of strategic development at Xdrive, which provides access and management of storage data for enterprise users and carriers, said the secure transaction processors from F5 have saved his company from purchasing a slew of Web servers it would have required otherwise.

Xdrive is using F5’s Big-IP SSL Accelerator cards along with F5’s load balancers to manage the firm’s growth in secure transaction volume. The company’s users grew from one million in March 2000 to more than seven million presently. Xdrive’s users include mobile workforces at companies that need access to files from handheld devices and laptops.

“We would have deployed a lot more Web servers if we weren’t using the accelerators to support that kind of volume,” Dunbar said.

The Big-IP e-Commerce Controller typically resides behind a company’s router and firewall to process all secure traffic connections.

F5 competes with a number of players in the SSL acceleration market, including Intel Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. F5’s SSL accelerators can support 200 to 750 transaction per second.

The Big-IP e-Commerce Controller is available, with prices ranging from US$9,990 to US$17,990. The Big-IP SSL Accelerator cards are also available and are priced at US$2,490 for the 200 transaction per second card and US$7,500 for the 600 transaction per second card.

F5 Networks is on the Web at www.f5.com.