Start-up Infoblox is expanding beyond its line of DNS network appliances with a suite of offerings designed to make several other corporate IP services run more simply, securely and reliably, company officials say.Infoblox shipped its first network appliance for handling DNS and Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) services in 2001. Since then, Infoblox has shipped 1,200 units to such big-name corporations as W.W. Grainger, Discover Financial Services, Andarko and Amgen. Today, 200 companies and government agencies including the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy use Infoblox appliances on their networks.Now Infoblox is developing appliances for protocols related to network identity management. These protocols include the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS), network authentication protocol Kerberos and public-key infrastructure (PKI)."We're putting core pieces of the network infrastructure in devices, which are more cost-effective and secure than software,"\u00a0Infoblox CEO\u00a0Peter Foley says. "The alternative is to roll out a Microsoft server or Sun server to handle these services."Infoblox will ship the LDAP and RADIUS\/Kerberos appliances in January. The PKI appliance will be available in the second quarter of 2004. All of the Infoblox appliances cost around $10,000 each.The Infoblox products offer all the advantages of other network appliances: They are stand-alone boxes that are easy to deploy, manage and scale as networks grow, and they're typically less expensive than software running on a dedicated server. Infoblox rivals include Bluecat Networks, which sells DNS appliances, and DNS software from Nominum, Nortel and Cisco."CIOs are interested in network appliances because they want to remove the complexity of their networks and they want to reduce their ongoing costs," Foley says.Infoblox is a venture-funded start-up that's received $12 million in three rounds of financing since its launch in 1999. The company's main investor is Sequoia Capital, which also funded Net Appliance and NetScreen.