F5 Networks Unveils New Load-Balancing Appliances

E-commerce and the demand for bandwidth have made load-balancing solutions, like those from F5 Networks, hot products. F5's load-balancing appliances—software integrated with server hardware—even out loads over multiple servers.

Now F5 has expanded its BIG-IP family of products by unveiling four new special-purpose iTCM (Internet traffic and content management) appliances, each priced at less than $10,000. Three of the four products provide load balancing and high availability for a specific type of network device—firewall, Web and cache servers. The fourth handles SSL encryption and centralizes SSL traffic management to enhance speed and traffic management for secure online transactions. The products are intended for companies of all sizes—small to large.

The new products include BIG-IP Fire Guard, which provides load balancing and high availability for firewalls; BIG-IP Load Balancer, which provides load balancing of Internet servers; BIG-IP Cache Controller, which provides load balancing and high availability of cache servers, and BIG-IP e-Commerce Controller, which manages SSL encryption and centralizes SSL traffic management. The first three appliances will begin shipping in the second quarter of this year. The fourth, BIG-IP e-Commerce Controller, will begin shipping in the third quarter.

F5 also announced a new Easy Start Program. The program amounts to a rental agreement for customers, who are required to pay $795 per month for 12 months. At the end of that time, they may renew their agreement at an adjusted rate or purchase the product.