Nortel Adds To Alteon Application Switch Line

As businesses integrate networks with customers, suppliers and partners, secure access to applications from anywhere on any device becomes more important, said Greg Merritt, vice president of enterprise portfolio marketing for Nortel.

To deliver a consistent experience to users, networks have to provide application awareness and control, Merritt said.

To that end, Nortel is introducing enhanced versions of its Alteon application switch line and adding SSL encryption and SSL VPN capabilities to the lineup, said Atul Bhatnagar, vice president and general manager of Nortel's Ethernet switching business. SSL VPNs, also called clientless VPNs, allow users to securely access applications from any browser, eliminating the need for VPN client software.

The new switches take application control beyond load balancing, said Chris Hanson, vice president of technology for Vandis, an Albertson, N.Y.-based solution provider. "These offer complete and total application control," he said. "They have the ability to look deeper into the application and enhance performance and make decisions based on specific content."

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SSL VPN is a hot topic right now, Hanson said. "The idea of a clientless VPN really sparks interest with clients," he said.

Available later this month, Nortel's Alteon Application Switch 2424 is designed to optimize application delivery, Bhatnagar said. The switch features 24 10/100 and four gigabit ports in a one rack unit form factor, supports up to 2 million concurrent sessions, and can process more than 51,000 Layer 7 sessions per second with zero session loss, he said. The Alteon 2424 is priced at $28,495.

Another versions of the 2424, the Alteon Application Switch 2424-SSL adds SSL processing and SSL VPN integrated security applications to the features of the Alteon 2424. The new switch can process up to 16,000 SSL sessions concurrently and manage up to 2,000 SSL transactions per second, Bhatnagar said. Slated for availability in April, the 2424-SSL lists for $31,995.

Nortel also is introducing the Alteon 8661 SSL acceleration module for its Passport 8600 routing switch line. Equipped with the SSL blade, the Passport 8600 can process up to 12,000 secure transactions per second. Available this month, pricing is $29,995.

In addition, Nortel is offering the enterprise-class features of its Passport line to midsize businesses with the launch of the Passport 1600 Routing Switch portfolio. Because application support requires greater network resilience and stability, the Passport 1600 routing switch features QoS and split-multilink trunking sub-second fail-over capabilities. It also offers security features to protect IP telephony, online collaborative environments and streaming media, Bhatnagar said.

Also Monday, Nortel introduced the BayStack 380 24-F, a switch equipped with all gigabit fiber ports that provides Layer 2 data center aggregation. The BayStack 380's features include load balancing plus automatic fail-over features, including multilink trunking. Scheduled for availability in March, it lists for $6,995.