A software upgrade to Foundry Networks’ ServerIronXL will let users simplify WAN and Internet connection links, configure failover connections and allocate bandwidth for specific applications running over an IP WAN.

Foundry says its TrafficWorks Link Load Balancer software will streamline how a business connects to multiple ISPs or carriers by simplifying bandwidth management for multiple WAN links.

The software can be used instead of Border Gateway Protocol version 4 (BGP-4) on enterprise WAN routers - something used in large business IP networks and carrier networks to handle multiple connections - the company claims. A ServerIronXL with TrafficWorks will offer the same control but without the need for specialist IT staff, the company claimed.

Foundry also said the ServerIronXL adds features not supported in BGP-4, including bandwidth optimisation and network health checking, which allows the device to send traffic around congested or downed links.

ServerIronXL switches have traditionally been deployed in data centres for load balancing. When processing WAN traffic, the device can handle up to 300Mbit/s - the equivalent of six T-3 links.

In addition to the Link Load Balancer capabilities, ServerIronXL switches can also provide denial of service attack blocking, by recognising spikes in TCP traffic messages and shutting down suspicious flows.

In the past, Foundry has focused mostly on LAN edge and core products, with its ServerIron, FastIron and BigIron Gigabit Ethernet switches. The addition of WAN traffic management is another step towards the enterprise edge.

The TrafficWorks Link Load Balancer software is available as a free upgrade for ServerIronXL users with support contracts. Switches start at $9,000.