10K Transactions Per Second

NetScaler builds RS9800 faster, stronger, more flexible.

July 22, 2003

2 Min Read
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NetScaler stands by its "born at Layer 7" slogan, though it has added the VLAN (virtual LAN) features necessary to support advanced configurations that leverage the additional ports on its newest devices.

It also has added TCP buffering and data compression--fairly impressive features that enhance scalability.

In addition to its core security features--SSL and SYN flood protection--the RS9800 provides get-flood protection. Get floods are legitimate requests, but are launched by drone clients with the intent to flood servers and deny site access to real users. The RS9800 uses a combination of Java and cookies to determine the legitimacy of the client, then places the request into an appropriate queue, which can be configured to use specified amounts of bandwidth, ensuring that real users are served more quickly.

A quick console setup is all it takes to have your RS9800 up and ready to configure. I smoothly navigated the revamped Java applet-based administration console to configure the required servers and services. After adding two real servers, provided by Spirent Communications' WebReflector, I added a single virtual server providing Layer 4 load balancing.

Using Spirent's WebAvalanche, the RS9800 was able to process peak loads of 10,000 transactions per second, with throughput maxing out the 1-GB link that provides client-to-server connectivity. After enabling compression, the same test run achieved peak loads of 10,000 transactions per second, but used only 650 Mbps of the 1-GB link. Average transactions per second increased from just over 5,000 to more than 6,000 with compression enabled.

Quick and Secure

Enabling SSL is a snap--just check the box. SSL configuration, however, requires no less than four steps and more knowledge of SSL than the average admin possesses. The advantage to this is control, but the uninitiated may find the process discouraging.

The RS9800's SureConnect feature is still excellent, but as the GUI has grown up, the SureConnect configuration process has become more complex. For both SureConnect and SSL feature configuration, I'd suggest a quick trip back to the CLI (command-line interface); it's cleaner and easier to deal with than the GUI.Still, the issues with the GUI are just typical growing pains of a product emerging as a viable contender in the content-switching market.

Lori MacVittie is a Network Computing technology editor working in our Green Bay, Wis., labs. Write to her at [email protected].

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