Offloading overhead speeds Web sessions

Nortel has beefed up its SSL session handling device, which speeds up Web transactions by offloading secure layer tasks from the web server

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By  Jon Tullett Published  May 8, 2001

Nortel Networks announced the release of its secure data traffic processing device which provides Web session security for the company’s Personal Internet architecture.

The latest version of the Integrated Service Director – The Alteon Secure Sockets Layer (iSD-SSL) Release 2.0 accelerator - offloads SSL processing, including SSL handshakes, key exchanges and encryption/decryption functions. By removing these tasks from the web server, this increases server performance, reduce client waiting times and increases the number of client Web sessions that can be managed simultaneously. In addition, iSD-SSL Release 2.0 supports cryptographic functions, such as encrypted private keys, multiple types of ciphers and different levels of security.

The iSD-SSL Release 2.0 runs in a one-armed configuration via Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit links from any Alteon Web switch product.

The new release also enables higher-layer functionality such as content intelligence, load-balancing, traffic shaping, content filtering, URL switching, cookie switching and personalized services for individual sessions supporting both HTTP and HTTPS traffic. The new version supports PKI management capabilities, including key generation, certificate management, and the ability to import keys generated by different Web servers.

The product also supports SSL 2.0, 3.0 and TLS-enabled protocols, including the SSL versions of NNTP, POP3, HTTPS and other TCP-based protocols. A single iSD-SSL Release 2.0 unit enables up to 600 SSL connections to be processed per second, with 256 iSDs processed through Alteon Web switching technology supporting a maximum of 153,600 SSL connections per second, Nortel claims.

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