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  WebMux™ and WebMux Pro™

IP traffic load balancing in a local environment for high performance and reliability

 + Introduction

Internet and intranet applications have become a critical part of today’s enterprises. High availability and peak performance for both internal and external IP client access are required for large and small busiensses alike. Any IP information platform downtime can translate to a huge loss in terms of opportunity, productivity, business goodwill.

In today’s business, high performance and high reliability are usually synonymous with high-priced. High-cost solutions are difficult to justify and often are out of reach for many businesses. The WebMux™ line of load balancers provides a number of scaleable models that provide not only high performance and availability but also high value that fits a wide range of budgets. WebMux's flexibility and scalability lets you create and manage a pool of IP servers (such as Web servers, FTP servers, email servers, etc.) and budget incrementally instead of making a large up-front capital outlay.

 + High performance

One of the main reasons to use a load balancer is to increase capacity of IP servers (such as Web servers, application servers, email servers, FTP servers, terminal servers, Citrix servers, etc). WebMux load balancers can share the load among a large number of servers, making them appear as one large virtual server.

By employing a unique routing algorithm, WebMux achieves persistent connections without sacrificing high performance. And using in-path or out-of-path load balancing, WebMux can handle huge amount of traffic with ease. With out-of-path configuration, WebMux 1U can handle up to 30,000,000 concurrent connections.

Built on an ultra-fast hardware platform, WebMux easily outperforms many load balancers that cost much more. Recent independent lab testing shows that WebMux 108E can handle over 5,000 new connection per second and sustain more than 300,000 concurrent connections (in NAT or in-path mode -- out-of path mode can be 100 times more) in the worst testing situation. The low-end WebMux model can handle up to 2XT3 traffic, and the high-end model can handle upto OC12 traffic. From a recent survey, 99.99% of Web site experiences less traffic than WebMux 108E can handle. A Web site that has one million page views a day typically experiences about 30 new connections per second and reaches about 500 concurrent connections during peak access. (Click here to see the entire performance review.)One of the main reasons to use a load balancer is to increase capacity of IP servers (such as Web servers, application servers, email servers, FTP servers, terminal servers, Citrix servers, etc). WebMux load balancers can share the load among a large number of servers, making them appear as one large virtual server.

 + High availability

Besides providing high performance, WebMux ensures high availability for IP servers. If a server in the Web farm fails, WebMux will automatically bypass the failed server and notify the operator by calling a pager or sending an email. WebMux has built-in high-level protocol checker which communicates with the services on the server to make sure they are running and healthy.

WebMux is built for maximum reliability and, unlike most other products, uses solid-state flash memory instead of a hard disk drive, which substantially increases reliability as hard disk failures are the most common cause of computer breakdown. WebMux passes the standard two-meter "drop test" and uses top-quality components, such as made-in-the-USA fans that last five to seven years (versus the typical three), to ensure that hardware failures are averted. WebMuxes delivered five years ago are still in operation today with no maintenance.

For mission-critical sites, WebMux offers "dual configuration" using two redundant load balancers to protect against the failure of WebMux itself. With dual configuration, if in the very unlikely event the primary WebMux fails, the secondary WebMux will automatically take over and notify the Administrator that the primary WebMux has failed.

+ Enhanced security

Since WebMux is passing all IP traffic, it is able to offer several firewall features to ensure the integrity of your data and protect your server from attackers. These features include:

  • Network Address Translation (NAT and SNAT)
  • Port Mapping and default Deny any connections
  • Denial of Service (DoS) protection
  • TCP SYN protection
  • SSL Acceleration
  • WebMux is able to block the most common kinds of attacks before they ever reach any inside firewalls or servers.

     + Does not rely on cookie persistence

    Unlike other load balancers, which rely on cookie persistence, WebMux uses other methods to maintain state. Many users disable cookies due to security and privacy concerns, and products like BEA WebLogic instead advise to turn on URL rewriting to track sessions in case cookies are disabled. Therefore relying on cookie persistence is a faulty basis for load balancing as it will fail for many users.

    Another drawback of cookie persistence is that it requires the load balancer to decrypt the data and re-encrypt the data to allow it to check the cookie. Such re-encryption is necessary to have end-to-end SSL transmissions for banking, goverment agencies, and other enterprises. Not all load balancers can handle end-to-end SSL transactions. Also, such decryption/encryption creates an extra burden for the load balancer and introduces a single point of failure. WebMux, on the other hand, although it can do SSL acceleration/encryption+decryption (upto 16 SSL certificates), can also do end-to-end SSL transaction with no additional overhead and therefore can properly handle clients who use both HTTP and HTTPS protocol during the same session to the same server without cookie persistence.
    + Includes proxy capability

    WebMux has a built-in proxy that function that is required for the proper functioning of certain IP-based software, such as CyberCahe. As successfully tested by CyberCash's engineers, CyberCash servers behind WebMux can initiate IP connections to CyberCash and other outside services. WebMux's firewall function blocks any connection initiated from outside. WebMux also supports Net2Phone services: if the servers behind WebMux are running the Net2Phone software, they can make phone calls to any U.S. phone via WebMux without a requirement for phone lines.

    + Expandable and flexible

    The rapid expansion of the Internet often means traffic bottlenecks and product obsolescence. WebMux scales to provide an easy and flexible upgrade path. You can upgrade the load balancer to meet your growing requirements at a nominal incremental cost.

    WebMux requires only one real IP address. If your ISP has assigned only one IP address to your hosting server, WebMux can direct out the SMTP, POP, FTP, DNS, etc. services all from this one real IP address to your separate servers. There is no limit on how many IP address can be used with WebMux.

    + Easy setup and administration

    Management of the IP server pool is done via a browser-based interface, so configuration can be done from anywhere that has IP connectivity and secure access to WebMux. Configuration of an entire server pool typically takes no more than five or ten minutes with no training required.

    The WebMux unit includes a front keypad interface and menu-driven LCD display, which is backlit for dark data centers or computer labs.

    We can factory pre-configure your WebMux as a free service.

    + Three-years of technical support included

    Each WebMux comes with three years of technical support without charge. During the first three years after purchase, you can receive free advice and help with problems at no cost. In addition, we offer as options:

  • Free factory pre-configuration
  • 24x7 support
  • One-day on-site installation and setup
  • Customized network design and training
  • + Three-year warranty included

    The components of CAI Networks' hardware products are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of three years from the date you receive it. During the warranty period, we will replace any defective component at no charge. This warranty does not cover damage caused by accident or misuse, or because of service or modification by other than an authorized CAI Networks service facility. No other express warranty is given by CAI Networks. CAI Networks shall not be responsible for consequential damages.

    You can return the faulty unit to our factory for repair, update, for replacement at our discretion. We offer a 24-hour express exchange service, which lets you receive a replacement unit before returning the defective one.

    + Money-back guarantee

    CAI Networks offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its products, permitting you to test them in your environment without risk. Should you decide not to purchase and you return the unit to us undamaged we will refund your money.

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