Cast Iron device gets security, file handling boost

Cast Iron Systems last week unveiled an updated version of its application integration appliance designed to provide simplified data-integration capabilities for corporate projects in which a full-blown enterprise application integration system would be overkill.

Cast Iron is making data integration more secure not only for transferring data but also for building integration projects between data repositories. The Application Router 1000 appliance supports data files up to 50M bytes in size, and has the ability to split large files into smaller pieces to simplify workflow.

Companies use a set of design tools to map connections between applications and then deploy the rack-mounted Application Router 1000 in a data center. The appliance handles protocol and data format conversion using XML and C++ to optimize performance, workflow and lightweight routing. The router also includes a management console to monitor transactions, guaranteed delivery of messages and failure notifications.

"It is interesting that Cast Iron is not basing this product on replacing any existing middleware," says Mike Gilpin, an analyst with Forrester Research. "The issue is how easily you can get this installed and how rapidly you can get up and working."

Gilpin says those factors will appeal to users such as auto dealerships and retail outlets that want to integrate data from remote sites into their core networks and deploy remote infrastructure that doesn't take an administrator to set up.

He says security is another major factor and that Cast Iron has added support for Secure FTP, which secures files on the router and encrypts files on the wire. Cast Iron also has added support for secure HTTP to secure access to its router via the system's Web Management Console.

The router also features new role-management functions that add password protection and encryption for integration projects being developed for use on the router.

All the new features are a prelude to Version 3.0 of Application Router 1000, which will push integration features beyond point-to-point connections.

"In 3.0 we go from being a single box to multiple boxes in infrastructure that route and visualize transactions on the network," says Fred Meyer, CEO of Cast Iron.

The appliance runs on an enhanced version of Linux and has two 10/100/1000Base-T data ports and one 10/100/1000Base-T management port. The device supports custom integration but ships with support for ERP systems, including SAP and PeopleSoft. It also supports SQL, Structured Text, XML documents and Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions, and includes pre-configured templates for electronic data interchange.

The router costs between $30,000 and $100,000, depending on configuration.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022