Radisys today introduced an "intelligent load balancer" designed to help carriers scale SDN networks for voice, video, 4G, 5G, Internet of Things and other high-traffic applications.
The FlowEngine TDE-1000 Intelligent Load Balancer is the first of a line. It combines the functions of a top-of-rack switch, edge router and conventional load balancer for high-traffic SDN networks.
The Radisys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS) product is designed to address the different needs of control plane and data plane traffic. Signaling and control messages are small in volume and sporadic, while data plane traffic, like an http stream from Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) or YouTube, is high volume. A VoIP call, for example, might consist of 15 packets of information to set up the call, and 36,000 packets for the voice encryption, says Radisys Marketing Director Ray Adensamer.
Managing the control plane requires a compute platform. The data plane requires a smaller set of functions -- there are fewer things you can do with data traffic -- but they need to be done rapidly.
Today, data traffic is managed with edge routers, load balancers, and top of rack switches. Radisys's new Intelligent Load Balancer supports a subset of features of those devices, with additional traffic steering and service chaining support. It connects millions of network data flows with the appropriate virtual network functions (VNFs) to manage them using NFV, Adensamer says.
For example, a carrier might reduce the priority of Netflix traffic, which it doesn't generate much profit from, while prioritizing VoIP traffic. Or it might increase the priority of YouTube traffic requested by a premium subscriber, Adensamer says.
The Intelligent Load Balancer is designed to save on capex while making the overall NFV architecture more efficient, by steering only the control plane traffic to the VNF.
The device supports high throughput, with a wirespeed flow classification of 1.2 Tbps, to intelligently share and steer data flows to the appropriate VNFs.
Radisys competes with load balancers from companies including F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) and Barracuda Networks Inc. Radisys differentiates by specialization, focusing on Layer 2-4 optimization, Adensamer says.