A year ago I wrote about a start-up readying a data center switch that the company said would dramatically speed secure applications. Well, Nauticus Networks finally has its switch ready to roll.The company last week shipped its N2000 and N2000V switches. The switches do traditional Layer2\/3 switching, but they also do intelligent switching at Layers 4-7. In addition, the company claims it can support far more Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections and encrypted throughput than competitors such as F5 and Radware.The N2000V switches enable virtualization, so a single physical switch can support multiple tiers of a data center.The switches are based on Nauticus' TideRunner chipset. Nauticus President and CEO Josh Weiss says it's this hardware design that enables the switches to do application-level switching and packet inspection without taking a hit when it comes to performance. The company claims its switches can support up to 16,000 connections per second of SSL processing and 4G bit\/sec of encrypted throughput."As a comparison, until recently the highest transactions per second were 1,600," says Neil Osipuk, directing analyst data centers and hosting at Infonetics Research.Osipuk points to a February announcement from Nortel that talked about an SSL acceleration module for the Passport 8600 Intelligent Routing Switch. "Each 8661 SSL Acceleration module can process 3,000 SSL transactions per second... with 260 megabits per second of bulk encryption throughput," the Nortel release says. The switch can accommodate four of these modules, so the switch can scale to 12,000 transactions per second with 1.04G bit\/sec of bulk encryption.Both the N2000 and the N2000V switches come with one of two LAN configurations: either 40 ports of 10\/100M bit\/sec Ethernet plus four Gigabit Ethernet ports, or just 12 Gig Ethernet ports. Pricing starts at $25,000 for the N2000 and $35,000 for the N2000V.