F5 Networks is making its two Big-IP web-application optimisation boxes even bigger so they have more throughput, and is upgrading the software that runs on Big IP devices to boost security.

F5 is replacing its Big-IP 1500 and 3400 devices with new Big-IP 1600 and 3600 models that have more-powerful processors, bigger hard drives and more memory. They are bundled with options that used to come with a fee when purchased with earlier Big-IP models.

The Big-IP 1500 costs $28,200 (approx £14,000), and the Big-IP 1600 replacement costs $18,000. The new box comes with an IPv6 gateway, rate shaping and fast-cache software modules that used to sell for a total of $21,000 extra. The Big-IP 3400 costs $27,000 and its Big-IP 3600 replacement costs $30,000 and comes with the same software modules.

The devices can compress traffic at rates as fast as 50Mbit/s and perform 500 transactions per second.

New Big-IP software options for the equipment include Protocol Security Module (PSM), which checks for protocol anomalies. Initially, the software can enforce standard protocol use for FTP, HTTP and SMTP.

PSM is a component of F5's application firewall Application Security Manager (ASM). PSM can run on all Big-IP platforms, but ASM does not. For example ASM does not run on the Big-IP 1600, but it does run on the Big-IP 3600.

F5 is announcing that ASM is integrated with WhiteHat Security's Sentinel application vulnerability service that discovers vulnerabilities in business software. The integration means that when Sentinel finds a vulnerability, it automatically writes a rule for ASM that will block attempted exploits of the vulnerability until it can be fixed.

The two new hardware platforms and the software upgrades are available.

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