Product Information

Coyote Point Equalizer Extreme with Equalizer XCEL

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December 21, 2004
Website:

http://www.coyotepoint.com

Price

$13,490

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
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  • Ease of Use:
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  • Performance:
    starstarstarstar
  • Documentation:
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  • Support:
    starstarstarstar
  • Value for Money:
    starstarstarstarstar
  • Overall Rating:
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QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    The fault-tolerance features are simple, but effective.

  • Weaknesses:

    It requires the addition of the Envoy option to allow devices to be clustered.

  • Verdict:

    A flexible system that can be expanded to handle most requirements.

Coyote Point's Equalizer Extreme is at the high end of its range. Featuring an Intel Xeon processor, redundant power supplies and two 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet connections in a standard Dell 1U rack-mountable chassis, the system runs Coyote Point's Equalizer software under a version of the FreeBSD operating system.

The initial setup and configuration tasks need to be performed using a command line interface over a serial connection, but the configuration program is menu-driven and should pose no problems. Most other configuration and management operations can be done with Coyote Point's browser-based management software, which will run with most browsers.

The system would normally be configured as a gateway between internal and external networks, but it can be set up in a single network configuration. Two Equalizers can be configured in a hot, standby pairing with the secondary unit monitoring the primary unit's status, taking over its functions if it fails.

It is not possible to have a cluster of Equalizers without the Envoy software option, which is not supplied. The Equalizer uses a system of virtual server clusters and real servers to handle connections between them and the outside world.

Each virtual server cluster is defined with the required characteristics such as the protocol it will handle, the port it will respond on, and the load-balancing algorithm it will use. Real servers are defined and assigned to the appropriate cluster. A real server can be designated as a hot spare in a cluster and the Equalizer will only send traffic to it if all the other servers in the cluster are not responding.

Apart from the fault-tolerance this can give it could help to reduce the number of licenses needed for a group of servers. Virtual clusters can be configured to do content-sensitive load balancing, using a system of user-defined rules to send traffic to specific servers according to the content of the request. The system can obtain and manage keys and certificates, and can assign them to whichever virtual clusters will be handling the SSL traffic.

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