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The company introduces its Thunder Series network appliances, designed to help carriers and enterprises make the transition to faster networks and more flexible address space.

A10 Helps With 100G, IPv6 Transitions

Mitch Wagner
4/16/2014
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Fresh off an IPO last month, A10 Networks today introduced an appliance designed to help carriers make the transition to 100G and IPv6, as well as providing NAT support, security, and load balancing.

The four new Thunder Series Layer 4-7 network appliances, priced from $87,995, include a high-end model with 100G Ethernet support, along with 10G and 40G Ethernet.

Performance is critical for A10's customers, says Kishore Inampudi, director of product marketing for A10 Networks Inc. "Customers have to build performance that scales not just for current needs, but for future needs. Our products offer that scalability."

He adds, "Customers can use our appliance currently with the 10G infrastructure they have, and when they upgrade in the future they can use the 40G and 100G."

100G is still a niche technology. "Today it's not a significant portion of the market. The market is sitting at 10G. There's a slow migration going to 40G or 100G," Inmapudi says.

Certain market segments do use 100G. "For them, latency matters," Inampudi says. These customers include financial businesses, service providers with IPv6 or "triple play" offerings -- voice, data, and mobile -- as well as universities and research facilities.

100G has gained traction on long-haul networks, with metro networks following. And the 100G CLR4 Alliance, which made its debut at Interop in Las Vegas last month, is looking to drive 100G into the data center; it's led by Arista Networks Inc. and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). (See 100G Inside? Data Centers Will Get It and Interop in Pics: Connecting Besiness Opportunition.)

Meanwhile, some vendors are looking beyond 100G. (See 100G Revenue Drives 400G Investment and Going Beyond 100G? Not So Fastů.)

A10 launched an IPO last month priced at $15 per share, and closed at $14.47 Tuesday. (See A10 IPO Sputters Off the Ground.)

The Thunder series can run as either carrier-grade networking (CGN) appliances or enterprise application delivery controllers (ADCs).

When deployed as a CGN appliance, the Thunder Series is primarily used by service providers to provide NAT service to extend IPv4, as well as migrating to IPv6 by translating between IPv6 and IPv4, Inampudi says.

A10's competitors include F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) and Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), Inampudi says. A10 competes on performance and scalability. Its Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) software is designed to provide performance on modern, multicore processors.

When deployed as ADCs, the appliances provide server load balancing, security, and improved performance for web applications.

The four models are:

  • Thunder 4430 and 4430S (S models have SSL security processors), with 6-core Xeon CPU, supporting 16x10GbE and 4x40GbE, and 38G throughput, available now.
  • Thunder 5430-11 and 5430S-11, with 10-core Xeon CPUs, 16x10GbE and 4x40GbE, with 79G throughput, available now.
  • Thunder 5630 and 5630S, with 16-Core Xeon CPUs, 4x1GbE, 24x10GbE, 4x40GbE, throughput: 79G, available later this quarter.
  • Thunder 6630 and 6630S, with 24-Core Xeon CPUs, 12x10GbE, 4x100GbE, throughput 150G, available later this quarter.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


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Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/16/2014 | 2:16:04 PM
100G demand
After our interview, A10's Kishore Inampudi emailed the following additional comments about 100G demand:

I think 100 GbE in data center is at an inflection point given the attractive price points.

History has proven that users will consume the bandwidth provided, and with rapid adoption of cloud and mobile computing the demands further escalate.

While the data may not show massive cross-industry 100GbE demand right now, we do see very explicit needs for with our service provider and large enterprise customers in certain use cases, and those use cases typically become more mainstream over time. And since our 100 GbE product also has 1/10 GbE interfaces, the 6630 provides great investment protection and future proofing.
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