Nortel Networks Alteon 410
It has reasonable scalability with plenty of capacity if needed in a well-built and easy to use package.
There is no printed documentation, and the configuration process can be confusing in places.
The performance figures are uninspiring, but its scalability and flexibility make it worth consideration.
The unit is built into a standard 1U rack-mount chassis, with a serial port and two 10/100/ 1000Base-TX ports. An additional 1000Base-SX port is available as an optional extra. Installation was straightforward and fully covered in the documentation. Initial set-up used a command line interface via a serial port.
diagnostic and maintenance procedures. Both the graphical and command line interfaces are password protected.
Documentation is comprehensive, but is supplied on CD-Rom only, with a web browser interface. This is not always as convenient as printed material when there are references between documents. Despite this we managed to follow the procedure and eventually configured the device for SSL acceleration.
The unit uses three types of virtual server, http, Socks and Portal, supporting a maximum of 256 of them in any combination.
The Quick Server Setup Wizard software provides a convenient way to configure these virtual servers, suggesting reasonable default values for most parameters. The wizard also handles the process of obtaining and adding certificates.
Each virtual SSL server has an individual IP address and port number to be used by external clients. It also has the IP address and port number of the real server, which handles the clear traffic. The unit provides comprehensive support for managing certificates and keys, including importing private keys from a variety of sources, such as Apache, webLogic and Microsoft Internet Information Services.
It offers comprehensive server load balancing features and encryption to back-end servers if needed. The units can operate as part of a cluster, with up to 256 units to provide extra processing capacity (the vendor claims this number of units can process over half a million transactions per second).
SSL acceleration can be provided for many other server applications besides web servers.