Four different companies will announce application acceleration tools at Interop this week.

Foundry has a new server offload device, and Citrix will launch boxes designed to speed up WAN links. Adtran and StillSecure will introduce LAN switch and network access control (NAC)-based security gear.

Foundry's ServerIron 4G switch is designed to sit in front of Web and application servers and speed up client access by offloading some security and network functions. The device can take over SSL encryption from a Web server and provide server load balancing at Layers 4 and 7.

The device includes a firewall that drops connections exhibiting suspicious behavior, such as incorrect data repeatedly entered into Web forms, and has four 100/1000Mbit/s copper or fibre ports. It is priced at $12,000.

Citrix has two new appliances in its WANScaler family that speed up WAN performance by reducing the number of bits that have to cross the connection. The 8000-series includes disk storage used to store traffic, which makes it possible to scan larger data sets for repetitive blocks that can be replaced by tokens that are sent over the link instead of the bits themselves. Citrix says the use of tokens can reduce traffic by as much as 3,500-to-1.

The high-end WANScaler 8800 for data centers supports 50,000 simultaneous connections and has an 850GB hard drive. It is priced from $40,000 to $94,000 depending on the size of the WAN link. The WANScaler 8500 has a 160GB drive and costs $8,500 to $45,000. Citrix is also upgrading NetScaler software to speed up transactions.

Adtran is announcing two sets of managed switches for small offices. The NetVanta 3448 is a multi-service access router that includes a router, eight-port 10/100Mbit/s switch, firewall and optional IPSec VPN support and Power over Ethernet (PoE). The box, which replaces the NetVanta 3200, supports two T-1 WAN links as well as 56Kbit/s and ADSL2+ asymmetric-DSL connections. It costs $1,045. PoE support will be available for $345 in the fourth quarter. The new NetVanta 3430 is the same platform without the switch and costs $895.

Adtran will also announce the 3100 family of NetVanta fixed-port routers which include a firewall, IPSec VPN, support for 802.1x authentication and QoS. The 3120 is a four-port switch with a 10/100Mbit/s WAN port and an analog modem and costs $645. The 3130 router is the same, but has a DSL WAN port; for $595.

On the NAC front, StillSecure will allow multiple methods of enforcing network access rules within a single network with Version 5.0 of its Safe Access NAC software. Customers can manage five different enforcement points from a single console. Safe Access scans devices attempting to access networks, and blocks them if they fail to meet network security policies. The software blocks access in five ways: blocking at switches using 802.1x authentication, having the Safe Access server drop traffic from the devices, using DHCP servers to deny access, manipulating the routing on the endpoint to block it from network resources, or using Cisco NAC-compliant enforcement.

StillSecure also has upgraded its management software to grant limited administrative rights based on administrator roles, and the software now can cluster servers for redundancy and load balancing. Pricing is based on the number of users.