Foundry launches switches to help block attacks

Foundry Networks Inc. Monday announced modular and stackable switches for Layer 4-7 tasks, with a particular focus on corporate security requirements.

San Jose-based Foundry will launch two modular switches dubbed ServerIron 450 and ServerIron 850 and a stackable device called ServerIron GT.

The products are designed to deter denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, company officials said. The modular switches deliver up to 320,000 Layer 4 connections per second, a speed that improves their ability to identify whether a transmission is permitted. That translates to protection against more than 4 million DoS attack packets per second, the officials said.

Interland Inc., a Web hosting provider in Atlanta, is considering purchasing two ServerIron 450s for one of its data centers to fight spam, said Greg Conroy, a network manager at Interland. “The key is being able to filter out spam that abuses our services,” he said.

Interland has 200,000 Web hosting customers, with 6,000 Web servers in each of its data centers in Atlanta and Miami and about half as many in a data center in Fremont, Calif.

The company has used previous versions of ServerIron products but wants the new capabilities in the ServerIron 450 for policy-based routing to determine whether e-mail is allowed, Conroy said.

He added that Interland typically doesn’t consider products from other networking equipment providers because his staff is trained on Foundry’s products. “There are no others we’d feel comfortable deploying,” he said.

The market for Layer 4-7 products is dominated by Cisco Systems Inc. and includes vendors such as F5 Networks Inc. in Seattle and Radware Inc. in Mahwah, N.J., said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston.

Market revenue reached US$400 million last year and could climb to US$1 billion in 2007, he said, attributing the expected growth to increased interest in building more intelligence into networks.

In addition to security, Layer 4-7 switches handle tasks such as load balancing, traffic shaping and route control.

Also on Monday, Foundry announced a new version of its Content Analysis Engine that supports a range of application content standards, including SOAP, XML, Financial Information Exchange, the Wireless Application Protocol and the Session Initiation Protocol. It can be customized to inspect, filter, switch and prioritize application traffic, Foundry said.

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