Published January 18, 2005
Volume 13, Number 1

Bivio Announces New Programmable Network Appliance
Bivio 2000 Multiservice Appliance Accelerates Packet Processing Applications Such as Firewalls, Routing, and Intrusion Detection

The new Bivio Networks Bivio 2000 can be used for network security as well as applications like e-mail, all employing Gigabit Ethernet protocols.

By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

As companies transfer ever larger amounts of digital data, devices to handle that data (transferred in what are known as Internet Protocol [IP] “packets” of electronic bits) safely, securely, and quickly are a constant necessity. The need for moving large amounts of data has grown to the point where many high-tech development companies aspire to transfer gigabits (around 1,000 megabits or one million bits) of data per second, where previously 100 megabits per second (known as the “Fast Ethernet” protocol) was satisfactory. One of the companies working on this gigabit per second (Gbps) protocol is Hacienda’s own Bivio Networks, located at 4457 Willow Road.

“We have just released a next-generation network appliance for high speed applications, called the Bivio 2000, that basically implements a higher level of service in networking,” says Paul Liesenberg, Bivio’s vice president of marketing and product planning. “Network routers forward IP packets of data by looking at basic information on the periphery of the packet, but network appliances go far more in depth into the packet and implement things like security applications, advanced traffic handling for things like email, or even security checking for problems within text documents. It’s a different type of device because routers look at a lower level of information.” The Bivio 2000 platform addresses a packet handling market that is expected to exceed $10 billion by 2007 and is facing increasing bandwidth demands with the emergence of Gigabit Ethernet combined with the requirements of top packet handling applications.

Bivio was founded in July of 2000 on the vision of a device that was entirely programmable for networking applications but could also forward packets of information at wire speed (the highest speed that the physical wires attached to the device will support). The idea was that the silicon chips within network routing devices were limited by the fact that they were unable to adapt to changes in the network environment, whereas a “network appliance” would be a fully programmable networking device that could support new software as needed. In other words, every time new networking technology comes into play, a router can become obsolete and need to be replaced, whereas a network appliance can be reprogrammed, saving a company’s investment in networking hardware. For service providers like Qwest, SBC, and Cable & Wireless who offer voice and data services over newer, fiber-optic infrastructure, the new technology could be a key to the deployment of advanced broadband services. However, Bivio’s products can also be of use to large private enterprises.

Bivio sells its products through an equipment manufacturer network model, where companies like Nortel, Lucent, Cisco Systems, and Juniper Networks install their own software on the appliances and sell them as their own products. Bivio, however, does build the software development applications necessary for implementing other company’s programs on their network appliances. Bivio started out right here in Hacienda and was formerly known as Network Robots. The company currently has 40 employees.


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