Redline Networks has upgraded the software for its Web acceleration hardware products, adding improved load-balancing capabilities, management tools and node clustering to its Web data center appliances.

The upgrade will help businesses that are Web-enabling applications, such as ERP or CRM, by ensuring uptime of servers while supporting more types of secure Web traffic acceleration, the company said.

Release 3.3 runs on Redline’s EX series appliances for boosting enterprise application traffic and its ET line of Web site traffic accelerators. Both lines sit in front of Web and application servers, and offload transactions such as SSL encryption and compression, while providing load balancing and application switching.

The new code will allow Redline devices to be linked together in clusters, providing protection in case of a device failure and better traffic distribution across the front end of a data center. Redline calls this feature "Active-N", which allows up to 64 Redline boxes to be clustered in a failover configuration and act as a single logical device.

Also included is support for load balancing HTTP over SSL transactions, used in secure Web-based applications. Load balancing has been added for FTP, UDP and TCP protocols, so Redline devices can perform all functions of traditional server load-balancing devices, the company said.

A feature called Intelligent Reporting, Monitoring and Alarming is included to collect stats on Web connections and transactions handled by a Redline device. The data can be accessed via a browser-based visual reporting tool that lets administrators view such events as illegal HTTP requests, server errors and other data over a specified time-period.

Layer 4-7 traffic routing has been added to the software, including a feature called Redline Request Routing. This lets the device route traffic based on data inside of packets, such as Layer 4 TCP/UDP information at Layer 4, or HTTP and application-layer data at Layer 7. This could speed up the performance of a Web server, or specific applications on a server.

Redline 3.3 is available in the UK from next week for EX and TX customers with software support contracts. Existing customers include London Underground and John Lewis. The cost of the device starts at £10,000 anywhere up to £35,000, the company's EMEA marketing director, Paul Gracie, told us. Meanwhile, the US-based company is pushing into Europe, with deals underway in Italy, Germany and Scandanavia.