CAMPBELL, Calif., 3 November, 2003 – A control environment that allows data centres to tailor the behavior of virtually all web-enabled applications from a single hardware platform has been introduced by Redline Networks.
The new Redline OverDriveTM control environment gives data centres the control and flexibility to alleviate existing and potential "webification" obstacles by writing simple rules for processing HTTP application and web content. With Redline OverDrive, web-enabled data centres now have a powerful platform for addressing the performance, security and scalability issues that plague data centres – without disruption of existing infrastructures or deployment of multiple point products.
Available on Redline's full line of E/X enterprise application processor and T|X web I/O processor platforms, the Redline OverDrive control environment offers adaptive content processing capabilities previously lacking in data centre products such as Layer 4-7 content switches. Users can define and enforce rule-based content-processing actions by simply writing "if-then" rules using an intuitive control language that supports a broad range of application behaviours.
Addressing the Unique Needs of the New Data Centre
"Though every data centre has its own unique mix of enterprise applications and requirements, data centre products up to now have been fixed solutions that could not address custom requirements or evolve to satisfy emerging needs," said Craig Stouffer, Redline's vice president of marketing. "This has led to unnecessary cost, complexity and performance problems as data centres become web-enabled. With the power of Redline OverDrive adaptive content processing, Redline's application and web I/O processor platforms drive cost and complexity out of enterprise data centres – regardless of whether the application mix includes PeopleSoft, Siebel or any of the million or more custom apps deployed in the world’s largest enterprises."
Redline was able to implement the new control environment because at the core of its application and Web I/O processor platforms is the ability to read, understand and transform full layer-7 HTTP content streams (the header and entire body) of client requests and server responses. Evolving the platforms' original state machine into an adaptive state machine has given Redline the power to take unlimited processing actions on the content streams, based on any combination of factors in both incoming user requests and outgoing server responses. Customers can define rules that perform such actions as modifying any component of page content, selectively adding SSL encryption, changing URLs, modifying requests, etc. Linear performance is maintained independent of the number of active rules and the complexity of adaptive content processing being performed.
By contrast, typical layer 4-7 content switches and load-balancing products can read only the header or a small portion of a content stream, and are limited to adding a header or making a switching decision about where a stream should be directed.
Using Redline OverDrive For Adaptive Content Processing: Examples
Redline OverDrive adaptive content processing can be used in a wide variety of ways to address common pain points experienced with web-enabled applications, such as:
Flexibility. When back-end technology is upgraded, new URLs are created and key customer/partner relationship assets such as bookmarks and access mechanisms may be lost; in companies moving to new Microsoft .Net or Java back-ends, for example, Web servers must maintain lists of "redirects" that match old URLs to new ones and redirect browsers accordingly. Similarly, websites may receive incoming "branded" URL requests that are not recognized as the URLs created by content-management systems such as Vignette. In both cases, Redline OverDrive rules can centrally translate requested URLs into formats understood by the servers, averting performance slowdowns.
Reliability. Redline OverDrive helps to keep business-critical applications up and running. Server transaction errors such as "page not found" or "internal server error" irk users, decrease revenue and typically go unreported by server load balancers conducting periodic "health checks." Rules can be written to inspect every response at wire speed and ensure that failed transactions are not sent to the user, but retried or redirected to another server. The new control environment can also assist in root-cause analysis of intermittent problems that are difficult to track within the data centre, using rules to check and log every request and its accompanying error, and proactively alert on problems.
Availability. The extension of formerly internal applications across public networks to remote offices and partners may lead to access, performance and security problems. Redline OverDrive rules can provide secure, authenticated, high-performance external access to internal Web resources, with none of the point-product limitations of SSL VPNs (secure sockets layer virtual private networks).
Security. Redline OverDrive rules can be written to add application-layer firewall enhancements that complement existing edge firewalls. These rules can systematically block buffer overflow attempts, deny malicious browsers, prevent unapproved URLs and protect against well-known attacks such as Nimda or CodeRed. To thwart hackers who attempt to attack sites through fingerprinting of servers and applications, Redline OverDrive can also obscure server identity by making Microsoft IIS servers appear to the outside world to be Apache, Sun iPlanet, or even Google web servers.
The Redline OverDrive control environment is available immediately. Through the end of 2003 it will ship as a standard feature with new Redline E/X and T/X platforms and will be available free of charge as a software upgrade to existing platforms.
About Redline Networks
Redline Networks designs and manufactures network appliances that maximise the performance, flexibility and scalability of web-enabled enterprise data centres. The company's family of E/X enterprise application processors, deployed at corporate data centres, and T/X web I/O processors, used by web sites, enable users to control and customize any HTTP-based environment while reducing infrastructure cost and complexity. Redline is a privately-held company based in Campbell, Calif. For more information on Redline and its products, visit http://www.RedlineNetworks.com. Redline OverDrive, E/X, T/X and the Redline logo are trademark of Redline Networks.
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