The RS9800 is a 2U device available in two versions: the 9800-T with four copper gigabit Ethernet ports, which we tested, and the 9800-SX with four fiber optic gigabit Ethernet ports.
Both use an Intel Xeon processor rated at 2GHz and have 2GB of main memory as well as a dual power supply. Both models have a liquid crystal display on the front panel, which can display status and diagnostic information, real-time statistics and alerts. The displays change every few seconds, giving the unit a very "busy" appearance.
Installation was relatively straightforward and the initial set- up was carried out using a command line interface over a serial connection, with the serial cable and connectors supplied. Once the device has been set up it is possible to use a Java-based GUI that can be used to control, monitor and configure the system, as well as the normal command line interface.
The system can be managed by third-party software via SNMP or via XML/Soap APIs, but some features, such as SNMP, cannot be configured through the GUI.
Documentation was generally good, and we had few problems setting up and configuring the unit, although we did manage to miss the instruction to save the configuration before powering down, losing all our changes the first time. There are a number of operational configuration options available, including passing source IP addresses to the back-end servers. This option is disabled by default, but can be enabled for those situations when the server needs to be able to identify the clients.
We did not enable this option during our testing.
The unit can be configured to provide secure SSL sessions with the back-end servers if required in a high-security environment. We did not configure this option either.
Certificate and key management features include the ability to generate requests for new certificates, import existing certificates and keys and to generate self-signed certificates for test purposes.
The device offers a number of other features apart from SSL acceleration, including content switching, SNMP support, web server logging (enabled by default), server authentication via Radius, LDAP, Active Directory, and server load balancing.
The device's ability to perform connection multiplexing between itself and its associated servers contributes to its performance.