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Radware Revives Nortel's Alteon Line

Radware, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, acquired the Alteon line on March 31, 2009, as part of Nortel 's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Less then a year later, Radware has released its newest Alteon application delivery products, the Alteon 4408 and 4416. The Alteon 4408 and Alteon 4416 fill holes in the Alteon product portfolio, falling in between the high-end Alteon 5412 announced in November and the existing 2-series and 3-series, which were part of the original Nortel acquisition a year ago.

The new switches address mid-range application delivery. In comparison, the Alteon 5412 is a high-end application delivery controller, offering application delivery throughput of from 5 to 20Gbps and is targeted at high-end carriers, ISPs and hosting companies that operate multi-service data centers, said Nir Ilani, director of Product Marketing/Application Delivery for Radware.

The Alteon 4408 contains 6GbE and two small-form-factor, pluggable ports, with on-demand throughput of 0.5, 1, 2, and 4Gbps. The Alteon 4416 contains 12GbE and four small-form-factor, pluggable ports and dual, out-of-band management ports with on-demand throughput of 1, 2, and 4Gbps, Ilani said. Both switches also offer a serial management port and a USB port for simplified software upgrades and recovery, as well as redundant power supply configurations. The units are rated to offer 215K Layer 4 and 135K Layer 7 transactions per second.

It's said that the most astounding thing about a waltzing bear is not how gracefully it waltzes but that it waltzes at all. Similarly, what's most notable about Radware's two new OnDemand switches, the Alteon 4408 and Alteon 4416, is not so much the features of the switches themselves - though they fill in holes in the company's product line - but the fact that Radware has revived the product line less than a year after the company acquired Nortel's layer 4-7 application switching business, said Steven Schuchart Jr., principal analyst for Current Analysis. The announcements show that the Alteon products are "in good order, with current technology, and [are being] actively developed after years of languishing under Nortel's leadership," Schuchart said.

Because members of the product line, as well as its software, are compatible, users can upgrade from one switch to the next as organizational demands increase, which Alteon calls a "Pay As You Grow" approach that does not require replacing or rebooting supporting hardware. The new models primarily target existing Alteon users, and the more complete product line helps the company better compete against vendors such as Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, and F5 Systems, Ilani said. The next major version is expected to provide features such as integrated application acceleration and virtualized application delivery controller support, according to Ilani. The Alteon 4408 is available now starting at $16,500 with a license for 500Mbps, while the Alteon 4416 will be available in four to six weeks starting at $40,000 with a license for 4Gbps.