A10 gives load balancers a 64-bit makeover

Five new load balancers feature A10 Networks' 64-bit architecture

A10 Networks announced five new models in its AX Series application delivery controllers. The load balancers feature its new 64-bit architecture.

A10 Networks this week announced five new models in its AX Series application delivery controllers. The new load balancers feature A10’s 64-bit architecture, which the vendor also debuted this week.

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Called Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS), the new architecture is based on native 64-bit code and was designed from the ground up to support multicore CPUs. A key benefit is that it eliminates the 4GB addressable memory limit in 32-bit systems, which allows each processing thread to utilize more than 4GB of addressable memory and opens the door to much higher performance and scalability, A10 says.

For example, surpassing the 4GB memory limitation lets A10 deliver scalable buffering for application flow surge protection; provide larger RAM caching for optimizing application response time; and offer smart buffering to boost throughput and processing capabilities.

“The 64-bit line of appliances from A10 Networks unlocks the full potential of 64-bit processing, by removing the memory and processing limitations imposed by 32-bit systems,” said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. “The scalability of 64-bit provides A10 a key advantage in the supercomputer application delivery controller category with the ability to process data exponentially faster. This can not only bolster end-to-end application performance but also help to reduce operating costs.”

The new AX appliances are aimed at midsize and large enterprises, Web sites and ISPs, with throughput options ranging from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps.

Geared for midsize customers, the AX 2500 and AX 2600 are A10’s entry-level 64-bit appliances. The AX 2500 delivers 10 Gbps throughput and 300k Layer 4 connections per second with eight Gigabit copper ports and four Gigabit fiber ports. The AX 2600 delivers 18 Gbps throughput and 355k Layer 4 connections per second. The AX 2600 offers three different port configurations: 24 Gigabit copper ports, 24 Gigabit fiber ports, or a combination of 16 Gigabit copper ports with eight Gigabit fiber ports.

Both the 2500 and 2600 models are 1U appliances and include onboard hardware SSL acceleration.

The next step up is A10’s 3000, which is designed for large enterprises. It delivers 22 Gbps throughput and 440k Layer 4 connections per second and comes in two different port configurations (16 Gigabit copper ports and four 10-Gigabit fiber ports; or eight Gigabit copper ports, eight Gigabit fiber ports and four 10-Gigabit fiber ports).

At the high end, geared for large Web sites, ISPs and carriers is the AX 5100, a 2U 64-bit platform that delivers 40 Gbps throughput and 2 million Layer 4 connections per second (with eight 10-Gigabit fiber ports and four Gigabit fiber ports). And lastly, A10 unveiled the AX 5200, which offers 40 Gbps throughput and 3 million Layer 4 connections per second (with 16 10-Gigabit fiber ports and four Gigabit fiber ports).

A10 claims its AX 5100 and AX 5200 represent the fastest two models currently shipping from any application delivery controller vendor.

All the AX Series models come with standard features for application acceleration and server load balancing, including Layer 7 scripting, virtualization, IPv4 & IPv6 support, aXAPI REST-based API, advanced NAT options, and security features including A10’s new DNS Application Firewall.

The AX 2500, AX 2600 and AX 5200 are available now. The AX 3000 and AX 5100 will be available November 1.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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