News Release

Digex Launches 'Intelligent Director' Service Using Layer 7 Content Switching

Advanced Load Balancing Solution, Based on Cisco 11000 Series Content Services Switch, Boosts Security and Performance of Complex e-Business Sites - in Time for Holiday Shopping Season
Sep 27, 2000

BELTSVILLE, MD, September 27, 2000 - Digex, Incorporated (Nasdaq: DIGX), a leading managed Web and application hosting service provider for businesses worldwide, today enhanced its High Performance and Availability product line with the addition of Intelligent Director, an advanced load balancing solution utilizing Layer 7 content switching. Intelligent Director, based on Cisco 11000 Series Content Services Switches, intelligently routes traffic among multiple Web servers while solving many of the most common traffic flow problems.

While basic load balancing products improve performance on sites with relatively static content, intelligent load balancing solutions are necessary for optimum handling of dynamic content, balancing multiple server configurations and managing high-traffic e-business sites. The intelligent content switching capabilities of Digex Intelligent Director also ensure persistent connections, providing uninterrupted, secure shopping even during the most heavily trafficked periods such as the holiday shopping season.

For larger server configurations, Digex offers dedicated Intelligent Director service while smaller sites can opt for a shared service. Users of the dedicated Intelligent Director service will have the additional option of using the system's robust firewall load balancing capabilities for enhanced security while reducing or eliminating firewall bottlenecks. Intelligent Director's firewall load balancing techniques can help mitigate risks associated with Internet-based security threats.

"As the latest addition to our High Availability and Performance product line, Intelligent Director provides a robust solution for intelligent traffic management, firewall load balancing, and enhanced security - critical factors for high-volume, transaction-intensive Web sites," said Rebecca Ward, president of engineering, marketing and product management at Digex. "After extensive testing in our labs we selected the Cisco solution and engineered our managed offering to provide the highest level of configuration knowledge and operational management to our clients. We expect many of our online retail clients to take advantage of Intelligent Director to enhance the performance of their sites during the approaching shopping season."

"By integrating the Cisco 11000 Series content services switch, Digex is able to significantly increase its network performance and security to deliver cost-effective, reliable e-Business services. As Cisco continues to drive the technologies that improve Internet performance and content delivery, service providers like Digex are able to accelerate the adoption of solutions that will provide enhanced services to clients," said Cheng Wu, vice president and general manager of the Content Switching Technologies Business Unit at Cisco Systems.

Digex Intelligent Director offers advanced capabilities including:

  • Algorithmic load balancing to monitor server capacity and intelligently route requests to those servers most capable of responding quickly.

  • Web server health checks at set intervals to ascertain that servers are up and running. If it detects a problem, Intelligent Director immediately removes the server from rotation and alerts the Digex network operations center (NOC).

  • Content matching verifies that the content provided through a URL request is correct. If the content is not correct, Intelligent Director removes the server from use and alerts the Digex NOC.

  • Cookie checking directs site visitors to the appropriate server based on cookie information.

  • ISP mega-proxy solution resolves problems created by users receiving multiple IP addresses from proxy servers in the same session. Instead of relying on the IP address, Intelligent Director uses cookies that are located within the customer's browser to ensure that the correct content is delivered.

  • SSL persistence ensures that connections stay intact until information has been retrieved or a transaction has been completed. Intelligent Director employs SSL connection IDs and cookies to maintain persistency for customers visiting Web sites through proxy servers and secure connections.

  • Dual firewall load balancing, facilitating multiple, active firewalls in a Web server architecture.
About Digex

Digex (Nasdaq: DIGX) is a leading provider of managed Web and application hosting services for some of the world's leading companies that rely on the Internet as a critical business tool. Digex customers, from mainstream enterprise corporations, Internet-based businesses and Application Service Providers (ASPs), leverage Digex services to deploy secure, scaleable, high performance business solutions, including electronic retailing, online financial services, online procurement and customer self-service applications. Digex also offers value-added enterprise and professional services, including performance and security testing, monitoring, reporting and networking services. Additional information on Digex is available at

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