I've just been on the training course for the F5 Networks Local Traffic Manager and was quite impressed with the range of things you can do with this kind of box. Does anyone else have experience of content switching? What sorts of things do you do with it? And how do you rate the offerings in this field provided by other vendors?
My experience with content switching is with the Cisco 11500 series content switch, setup to provide load balancing between three application servers for an Oracle ERP system.
Personally, I wasn't very impressed, but we did only use specific features of the unit, so I can't judge it based on that experience. The unit had a full PC system built into a custom Cisco rack mountable case and ran a modified Linux operating system
Generally, there are a lot cheaper solutions our there that can perform equally well, or even better. I haven't seen the F5 Networks solution, but I take your word on it!
The F5 box is similar; it's custom hardware running their software on top of a Linux OS. I wasn't promoting the F5 though, just intersted in the experience our members have had in general in this area and perhaps to compare/contrast the available solutions.
Having said that I was a little surprised at the lack of replies - maybe content switching is not something many people have experienced, and if so maybe we can do an overview if people would be interested
The only solution I've gotten to work with is from Foundry Networks. We have 4 smaller units paired up and 2 much larger modular units.
The smaller "older" units seem like they aged out of use much faster than they should have. Not that I've kept up with the related technologies. But they seems like they weren't made with the future in mind.
The larger units are the exact opposite. Lots and lots of up-gradability, in all respects.. Not just a slot to put in more interfaces.