F5 Networks Unveils Web Cache Server

F5 Networks, a provider of hardware and software for managing Web site traffic, has unveiled EDGE-FX Cache, a new Web cache server. According to F5, EDGE-FX Cache supports much higher concurrent connections and data rates than competing products.

Although the new Web cache server can operate standalone, it's of greatest value to F5 by extending its product line. The market is red hot right now for network switches that direct and manage traffic to Internet server farms that host Web sites, and an integrated caching product serves to extend F5's reach.

For this reason, Gartner Group Senior Analyst Eric Thompson applauded the introduction of EDGE-FX, saying, "…F5 now has all the integrated components to manage Internet traffic and move content out to the edge.The real value of caching is realized when you integrate them with an Internet traffic management system to optimize overall management and control of your network."

EDGE-FX Cache integrates with all F5 products. Integration with F5's BIG-IP Controller provides automatic configuration of EDGE-FX Caches, increased cache availability, intelligent load balancing, enhanced security, and increased cache farm scalability. Integration with F5's 3-DNS Controller delivers intelligent global cache load balancing, high availability through network and site monitoring, and disaster recovery for origin and edge sites with redundant site management. Integration with GLOBAL-SITE Controller enables e-businesses to update content on geographically dispersed sites. Integration with SEE-IT Network Manager provides a single management point for multiple EDGE-FX Caches distributed worldwide.

Other features of the EDGE-FX Cache touted by F5 include high performance and easy deployment. F5 maintains that the cache server handles well over 800 requests per second and boasts 50 to 80 Mbps throughput. It is deployable in reverse, forward, and transparent proxy mode.

EDGE-FX Cache will be available in September 2000 at an introductory price of $9,990. F5 products support a number of platforms, including those from Sun, HP, Compaq, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Intel. The products operate with IP-based applications, including applications from vendors such as SAP, BAAN, Novell, Oracle, and PeopleSoft.

F5 has been performing well in a growing market. In late July, the company reported that its fiscal-third quarter revenue had tripled year over year and was up 24 percent from the prior quarter.