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Network appliance offers up to 10 GbE ports

Dec 11, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Acrosser is shipping a fanless 1U network appliance that runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.x. The AR-R5100FL is a 19-inch rackmount system that incorporates an Intel EP80579 (“Tolapai”) SoC with Intel QuickAssist technology, along with six to ten gigabit Ethernet ports, and dual USB, serial, and SATA ports.

The AR-R5100FL targets network security applications, such as VPN (Virtual Private Network), firewall, and anti-spam mail servers, says Acrosser. Like many new network appliances over the last year, it incorporates Intel's EP80579 ("Tolapai") SoC (system on chip), which integrates typical northbridge and southbridge functions with a Pentium M core clocked up to 1.2GHz.

Acrosser AR-R5100FL

The EP80579 is available from Acrosser clocked to 600MHz or 1.2GHz, and offers Intel's ultra-highspeed FPGA (field programmable gate array) co-processor interface dubbed "QuickAssist." Designed for attaching custom FPGAs directly to the FSB (front-side bus), QuickAssist works with the Tolapai to improve throughputs up to eight times, compared to a traditional "four-chip" VPN router design, claims Intel.

The AR-R5100FL also supplies 1GB of non-ECC DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 4GB via dual 240-pin DIMM sockets that support ECC or non-ECC DDR2 memory running at up to 800MHz, says Acrosser. The appliance offers PCI Express expansion, and supports PXE (Preboot eXecution Environment) functionality, which enables it to retrieve an operating system using standard network protocols.

Acrosser AR-R5100FL (top) and optional 10-port AR-B2004-X4 version (bottom)

(Click to enlarge)

The system offers six gigabit Ethernet ports, with bypass support on two of the ports. An "AR-B2004-X4" option (pictured above, bottom) expands the number of ports to ten, with two extra RJ45 ports, and two more ports available via SFP (small form-factor pluggable) connectors, says Acrosser. Other I/O includes two SATA ports, two serial ports, two USB ports, and 8-bit GPIO.

The rackmount, 1U "19-inch" appliance, which actually measures 17.4 x 14.6 x 1.7 inches (442 x 371 x 44mm), includes a 16 x 2 character LCD. The appliance runs on a 108 Watt power supply, at temperatures ranging from 32 to 113 deg. F (0 to 45 deg. C), says the company.


The AR-R5100FL is available now with Red Hat's RHEL 5.x, running a Linux 2.6.18 kernel, or with FreeBSD 6.2, says Acrosser, which did not list pricing. More information, including a full spec list, may be found here.

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