Best known for its network security appliances, Fortinet recently expanded its efforts in application delivery with products that incorporate technology from its recent acquisitions of Coyote Point Systems and XDN.
The new FortiADC-300E is based on Coyote Point’s Equalizer E370LX application delivery appliance and targets midsize enterprises. Features in the application delivery controller include the ability to offload secure application traffic from servers at 7,500 HTTPS transactions per second, up to 4.8 Gbps of Layer 4 throughput and up to 75,000 Layer 7 requests per second. The product also offers support from enterprises transitioning to IPv6 with IPV6-in-4 tunneling, which translates IPv6 traffic at the ADC level.
FortiDirector, meanwhile, is a hosted Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) service based on XDN’s CloudDirector platform. The service moves GSLB functionality to a global DNS-based network that routes traffic to any externally available IP address, giving enterprises the ability to connect applications managed by any of Fortinet’s ADCs and interoperate with ADC appliances from other vendors.
In a recent report, research firm Dell’Oro Group forecast that the ADC market will approach $2.3 billion in 2017, driven by strong data center spending for projects such as new data center build-outs and consolidation.
Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, sees two other main primary reasons ADCs are hot: growth in Web apps, especially in the mobile space, and Web app complexity. “ADCs centralize a number of critical services onto a network box, which helps simplify operations and maintain application performance,” he said. “ADCs have become a requirement in the Web-centric application world.”
Oltsik said Fortinet is building its brand and distribution around Coyote Point, which he said had a solid product but could not compete with F5 and Citrix NetScaler. “F5 is the 800-pound gorilla, and Citrix is a solid No. 2,” he said. Other players include Riverbed, A10, Radware, Barracuda and Brocade. Oltsik doesn’t see Fortinet competing for large enterprise deals. “I imagine it will target the small enterprise segment," he said.
Oltsik said Fortinet’s strength as a company to date has been in the security market, so these latest product announcements demonstrate that it’s looking to diversify from just network security to specialized networking functions, as well.
Aha! Aims To Streamline Product Roadmapping
A startup is hoping its product road-mapping tool will reinvigorate product managers and software engineers by giving them an “a ha!” moment. Aha! was founded earlier this year by Brian de Haaff and Chris Waters, and distinguishes itself by being development methodology agnostic, the company said. The cloud-based tool is designed for teams that already have an engineering system in place, but having an existing system is not necessary.
Aha! features include the ability to manage users and assign roles, track changes, create a single product description that everyone can refer to, outline market assessments, set strategic imperatives for the product and highlight the business value of each release.
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One particular aim Aha! has is to provide product managers with a single tool that replaces others they might be using to manage their software development projects--such as Word, Excel and Dropbox--that create files scattered across computers and the cloud. It can also work with bug and issue tracking software such as Jira, enabling product managers to set strategy, releases and features in Aha! and then send them to Jira, which in turn will update back to Aha!
Aha! is not the only tool take a unified approach to product development. OneDesk offers cloud-based road mapping and product planning, while Sopheon provides a cloud-based version of its Accolade Process Manager, including Collaborative Workflow. A free trial is available for Aha! Monthly pricing for enterprise users is $99 per user, billed annually.
Coraid Doubles Throughput
Coraid is targeting its newest block storage appliance at cloud and enterprise data centers. The EtherDrive SRX6000 series offers more than double the throughput and up to five times the IOPS compared to its predecessors, the company said, thanks to a faster processor, new bus architecture and the new CorOS 7.0 software release.
The new appliance promises more than 700,000 IOPS in a single chassis and more than 4,800 Mbytes per second of throughput. Coraid said the product furthers its focus is on “democratizing” flash storage through its “one-tier-for-all” architecture that combines SSDs and hard disk drives.
Tiering is the common approach for leveraging flash in storage arrays. Dell, for example, offers EqualLogic hybrid storage arrays that combine high-performance SSD and high-capacity near-line SAS drives and come as appliances. The arrays use automated auto-tiering algorithms to determine which applications and data are used most frequently, and to store each in an appropriate location. Nimble Storage also takes a hybrid approach to its storage architecture with its Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout Architecture, which lays out data by taking random writes coming into the system and writing them on a new location on disk sequentially, making more efficient use of low-cost disk. Meanwhile, frequently accessed data is put on flash.
Both Nimble and Coraid, along with X-IO, have been named visionaries in Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant report for general-purpose disk arrays, while leaders in the space according to the research firm include Dell, IBM, HP, Hitachi, NetApp and EMC.
Penguin Launches Arctica Ethernet Switch Line
Penguin Computing recently unveiled its new line of Arctica Ethernet switches designed for software-defined data centers. The new switches include multiple network software options, including pre-installed Cumulus Linux, a new distribution specifically geared for network switches. Users can leverage native Linux apps and tools to manage switch configurations as well as automate and monitor tasks.
According to Penguin, its Arctica switches are the first to offer the option of the pre-installed Cumulus OS, which was developed by startup Cumulus Networks. The distribution is designed to allow enterprises to use bare metal networking hardware from companies such as Quanta, Accton and Agema.
The Arctica line includes the 4804i, a 48-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, and the 4804x, a 48-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch. Penguin said it expects to launch a 32-port 40-Gigabit Ethernet switch later this year. The company’s focus has been on the high-performance computing market and large-scale enterprise computing with an emphasis on offering products based on open architectures.