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A10 extends load balancing lineup with energy efficiency in mind

New high-end device maxes out at 680 watts
Network Architecture Alert By Ann Bednarz , Network World , 05/19/2009
Ann Bednarz
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Market analysis by NetworkWorld.com Site Editor Jeff Caruso, plus links to the latest news headlines

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A10 Networks today unveiled a load-balancing appliance that’s designed to provide high throughput in a compact, energy-efficient box. The AX 5200 offers throughput of 40Gbps and can set up 3 million Layer 4 sessions per second in a 2U form factor with a maximum power-consumption of 680 Watts.

Slideshow: Cool new products at Interop

The AX 5200 is the new high-end of the vendor’s AX Series Advanced Traffic Manager family of products, which combine application acceleration, optimization, load balancing, networking and security features. The 5200 is tuned for processing millions of concurrent connections and high data rates required by large enterprises, Web sites, portals and carriers, says Lee Chen, founder and CEO of A10.

Energy efficiency also was a key design criteria, Chen says.

Compared to A10’s previous high-end box, the 5200 offers a roughly sevenfold increase in Layer 4 connections per second and a roughly fivefold boost in throughput -- but only a 2x increase in power consumption, Chen says. So from a performance-per-Watt standpoint, the 5200 offers “significant power savings,” he says.

Customers can save up to 80% in energy costs over competing chassis solutions, A10 estimates. “We spent a lot of money and time to make sure air flow is sufficient and effective. We have one of best air flow and heat dissipation examples,” Chen says.

New to the AX 5200 is Parallel Flexible Traffic ASIC (PFTA) technology, which allows four ASICs to run in parallel, boosting performance. It includes hardware-based denial-of-service SYN flood protection. The AX 5200 also features: Intel Nehalem 64-bit multicore processors; standard 24 GB memory with support for up to 192 GB memory; solid-state drive and compact flash storage; sixteen 10G ports and four 1G ports; and redundant power supply and removable fan trays.

A10 unveiled the new device at the Interop conference going on this week in Las Vegas. It’s on display in A10’s booth (#1367) and will be generally available in the third quarter. AX 5200 pricing starts at $195,000.

Jeff Caruso is site editor at Network World.

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