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F5 bolsters application acceleration box

New model performs better and includes more standard features than the models it replaces

As part of an ongoing hardware upgrade, F5 Networks is announcing a model of its application acceleration that performs better and includes more standard features than the models it replaces.

Big-IP 6900 replaces Big-IP 6400 and Big-IP 6800 devices, supporting 50% more application throughput over the previous models and processing nearly triple the requests per second.

The network hardware company upgraded the two low-end families of Big-IP in July.

The Big-IP 6900 box comes standard with support for IPv6, rate shaping and Fast Cache, an F5 feature that caches frequently sought Web material on the Big-IP device so servers don’t have to supply it repeatedly. These features were available before but at a premium cost.

Starting prices for the versions being phased out were US$36,400 and US$51,400. Starting price for Big-IP 6900 is US$55,000, but includes the new standard features, which F5 says were worth US$30,000 under the old pricing.

The box comes with support for 500 SSL transactions per second and 50Mbps compression. Customers can pay extra to boost those numbers as high as 25,000Tbps and to 5Gbps compression.

Other add-ons that can be integrated with Big-IP include Global Traffic Manager to manage multiple devices, WebAccelerator for speeding up Web application response times, Application Security Manager application firewall and Link Controller, which monitors the health of connections and can switch from downed connections to backups.

F5 is taking orders for Big-IP 6900 now and the product ships before the fourth quarter.