Startup Arrowpoint claims that its switches offer a new architecture in networking - switching flows rather than packets.
It also claims that the switches offer bandwidth savings of 30 per cent to 40 per cent in websites with caches, in addition to the ability to deploy ecommerce with quality of service.
The start up has launched in Europe with ambitious plans to offer a new class of 'Layer 5' switches for Web hosting, cache acceleration and ecommerce applications.
The Arrowpoint CS-100 and CS-800 Content Smart Web switches provide a front end for Web server farms or cache clusters, maximising Web cache performance by bypassing caches for non cacheable content.
Arrowpoint's Web switches also dynamically direct specific content requests to the best site and the best server at that moment, avoiding busy sites.
"Switches have to be content aware, know about server state and network latency," said Cheng Wu, Arrowpoint's chief executive. "Cisco's built the plumbing and we make it smart."
Rival Alteon argues that users are more interested in technology to provide server scalability and resilience by using load balancing.
Robert Mustarde, Alteon's regional sales manager, warned: "Content management is a niche requirement at present and the architecture that is needed to implement it in a robust, customer friendly manner is most certainly not a single, central processor architecture."
For more stories see 31 March issue of Network News UK
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