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Software Maximizes Availability of Business-Critical Web-Enabled Applications


CAMPBELL, Calif., Mar. 15, 2004 – Expanding the role of its enterprise application processor as a key building block for Web-enabled data centers, Redline Networks has unveiled an upgraded version of its platform software that lets enterprises maximize availability of business-critical applications, streamline operations and simplify problem detection and resolution.
New functionality in Redline's release 3.3 allows enterprises to efficiently implement initiatives such as data center consolidation and the "real-time enterprise" by delivering:

· "Active-N," the industry’s first "self-healing mesh" of up to 64 units functioning as a single logical system. This ensures always-on availability and aggregate bandwidth scalability;

· Intelligent reporting, which provides visual snapshots of hundreds of system statistics, enabling rapid pinpointing of problems;

· Load balancing of the HTTP/S, FTP, UDP and TCP protocols, enabling data centers to potentially eliminate point products such as dedicated "legacy" load balancers;

· Redline Request Routing, which enables powerful, flexible content routing to servers based on any combination of layer 4-layer 7 content. When combined with the Redline OverDrive™ control environment, this improves site scalability, simplifies management of server clusters and enables robust application control.

Craig Stouffer, Redline vice president of marketing, said, "Enterprises managing the transition to Web-enabled applications have several concerns. First, they want to ensure new 'webified' business-critical applications are as available as the old client-server versions. Second, they want to streamline architectures to avoid managing a multitude of point products for functions such as compression, security, load balancing and acceleration. Third, they want problem-solving information at their fingertips, in a format they can quickly understand and use to take action. Redline's newest version addresses these concerns, improving business continuity for users and raising the bar for emerging New Data Center platform requirements."

New "Self-Healing Mesh" and Request Retry Ensure Business Continuity
Redline’s new Active-N feature is consistent with initiatives in the emerging "New Data Center." With Active-N, a "self-healing mesh" of up to 64 systems can concurrently process traffic, acting as a single, logical unit. If one or more systems fail, traffic is instantly redistributed across the remaining units within the mesh, forming a self-healing application front-end. There is no loss of service to the end user. Total processing capacity is vastly increased to accommodate large traffic surges.
Other systems supporting only an active-passive scheme are subject to an interruption in service when the primary unit fails. The backup unit, which is not processing traffic, often is not maintained at the same revision level as the primary unit, resulting in a complete service outage on failure.
Active-N works in conjunction with the Request Retry capability of Redline OverDrive to further ensure availability of Web applications in the event of a back-end application, server and/or network failure. With Request Retry, customer-specific rules can be written to inspect every response and retry, redirect, log and/or alarm failed requests. Previous approaches have been limited to simply returning an error condition, such as "Server Internal Error," to the user. "This raises the bar in helping enterprises achieve a new level of application availability for business-critical applications," said Stouffer.

Intelligent Reporting, Monitoring and Alarming
Redline extends beyond basic health-checking reports to maintain results for every HTTP/S request. Easy-to-read graphical reports organized by user-specified time period from seconds to years can be created easily from the hundreds of statistics available on its platforms. Redline can show what occurred at a given time in the past in a visual format that can be quickly understood by data center managers and Web operators. The reports:
· Cover items such as server error incidence, illegal requests, blocked requests, normal and peak bandwidth usage, user profile and hundreds of other factors;

· Enable comprehensive root-cause analysis of network and application issues. New historical reports and logging show the type of errors that occur, when they occurred and to which server(s). This data can be used to determine trends and to drill down on details of specific failures on a per-request/transaction basis, enabling quick and accurate problem resolution.

· Detect and resolve transient problems such as "internal server errors" and application performance problems. The problems most difficult to reproduce and repair can be tracked down and resolved quickly.

· Analysis designed specifically for application managers, including peak and historical user connections, and timing, quantity and type of illegal requests. Statistics are available on a per-application, per-cluster and per-server basis.

Eliminating the Dedicated Load Balancer
"Our enterprise customers have been asking us for a solution that would let them eliminate their existing server load balancers," Stouffer said. "With our integrated layer 4-7 load balancing, 'legacy' SLB equipment becomes obsolete in most customer environments."
Redline now offers load balancing support for FTP, UDP and TCP traffic in addition to HTTP/S. The company applies its efficient request-based load-balancing technology for HTTP/S requests, which distributes requests more evenly across back-end servers than typical connection-based approaches. With Redline's load balancing enhancements, enterprises can often eliminate one more piece of this complicated puzzle – the dedicated load balancer. As industry analyst R. Lynn Nye, Jr., has noted, "IT organizations are rapidly streamlining their application environments, and it makes little sense to buy different point products from different vendors to get core data center services."

Product Availability
Request Retry is available immediately on Redline E|X systems equipped with Redline OverDrive. All other new software functionality is available on both Redline E|X and T|X units. Existing customers with a software support contract can contact their local sales office for upgrades at no charge.

About Redline Networks
Redline Networks designs and manufactures network appliances that maximize the performance, flexibility, availability, security and scalability of Web-enabled enterprise data centers. The company's family of E|X enterprise application processors, deployed at corporate data centers, 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.


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