January 02, 2001, 11:30 AM — Intel introduced five products last week from its NetStructure series targeted at corporate users who want to bolster their e-commerce and Web sites with caching, load balancing and secure transaction processing.
Intel's products are aimed at helping users conquer core e-commerce network challenges, such as how to respond to customers more quickly, ensuring that secure transactions are carried out swiftly and reducing the possibility of network failures that leave customers out in the cold.
The 1520 Cache Appliance, 7115 e-Commerce Accelerator, 7185 e-Commerce Director, 7175 Traffic Director, and 7145 Traffic Director provide better performance and more features than their predecessors. For example, the 7115 e-Commerce Accelerator, a device designed to handle encryption and decryption processing related to secure e-commerce transactions, has three times the performance of its predecessor, the 7110. The box also supports up to 600 secure connections per second.
Intel also added a feature that lets network managers assign an IP address to the device to remotely manage it. Secure transaction processing devices usually don't have an IP address to prevent hackers from accessing them, but that precaution also prevents administrators from managing them. The new feature essentially lets customers turn the IP address on and off.
Warren Wilson, an analyst with Summit Strategies in Boston, says Intel's latest additions afford users significant performance benefits compared to the earlier version released at the beginning of this year. The business benefits for e-commerce sites are multiple. "Being able to provide retail customers a higher level of satisfaction and reliability is one benefit," he says. "By managing traffic better you can reduce or eliminate the loads that can cause crashes. In improving performance, you convert more shoppers to buyers."
The NetStructure products are designed to sit in a company's data center, behind a router and in front of a Web server farm.
Intel's 1520 Cache Appliance is a less-expensive alternative to what Intel already offers in its 1500 Cache. The 1520 supports a single T-1 link, unlike the 1500, which supports a T-3 connection. By placing 1520 appliances in different regions, customers can reduce the amount of time it takes the cache to serve content requested by users.
Intel also added to its e-Commerce Director products. The NetStructure 7185 e-Commerce Director combines secure transaction processing and content-aware traffic management.
The 7185 lets customers route and prioritize requests based on the type of request and the identity of the user. The 7185 also sports a new Intelligent Session Recovery feature that lets it detect HTTP 400, 500 and 600 errors and redirect the request to another server, keeping the session alive and reducing the number of error messages customers receive.