A10 airs Thunder line of ADCs, along with more DDoS protection

Company boasts of concentrating more capability into smaller units

A10 Networks this morning announced a new line of application delivery controllers -- distinct from the existing AX series -- dubbed "Thunder," saying that the new units offer more capacity in a smaller footprint.

The company also announced a new version of its Advanced Core Operating System, which runs on the Thunder devices and is designed to add several new security features, including DDoS protection.

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A10 Thunder 6430

Credit: A10

A10's Thunder 6430

The Thunder 6430 and 6430S (the latter includes dedicated SSL processing hardware), as well as the lighter-weight 5430S model are all 1U devices that use Intel Xeon processors, four 40G ports and 80-Plus Platinum-certified power supplies. The 6000 series devices provide the capability for 5.3 million layer 4 connections per second and 150Gbps of application throughput, while the 5430S handles 2.8 million and 77Gbps respectively. Both S models come with SSL acceleration technology that enables them to 130,000 and 67,000 connections per second.

All three models are available now, and prices are set at $270,000 for the 6430S, $230,000 for the 6430, and $140,000 for the 5430S. Included in those figures is the new version of ACOS, which provides additional security features like a Web application firewall and application access management, along with the aforementioned DDoS protection features.

Gartner analyst Mark Fabbi says that the Thunder lineup provides substantial value for the price.

"The new A10 products really push the price performance envelope. Very high performance platforms, but only 1RU in size at aggressive prices," he told Network World. "The other key thing from a positioning perspective is that A10 includes all features in the base price -- no additional licensing for extra SSL, compression, [or] Web app firewall."

It's an important consideration for A10, given recent legal troubles -- the company was enjoined in January from selling ADCs based on technology that rival Brocade says infringed on its patents. While A10's motion for a new trial in the actual infringement lawsuit was granted, the only issue to be decided is the exact financial extent of the company's patent liability.

"The legal issues have caused A10 some loss of momentum and some prospects will be scared away until there is final resolution," says Fabbi. "However, they have continued to invest in the business and overall have executed well."

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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