New features and enhancements in Zeus Web server v4.0 were made bearing in mind changes that have occurred in the marketplace, Andrew Parker, principal consultant for Zeus told ServerWatch. An increase in consumer broadband usage and in bandwidth, as well as the rise in non-English language based Web sites are three such driving forces.
Zeus Web server v4.0 is designed to be equally powerful for the novice and experienced system administrator. Its task-oriented, browser-based user interface has intelligence capabilities and comes with Perl modules and other tools.
The server has increased, though not native, Apache compatibility. Its rewritten PHP code base boosts 46 percent faster performance than Apache with mod-PHP, according to Parker. The latest version of Tomcat is also supported, and the Web server offers third-party support for WebDAV.
Zeus Web server v4.0 will also offer a variety of internationalization features, including support for Kanji by January 2002. Language cataloging and multibyte character sets will also be supported.
Other key features in Zeus Web server v4.0 are real-time visualization and management tools, and dynamic content delivery.
Enterprises that have beta tested v4.0 include Energis, Primus, Qualcomm, and WRHambrecht.
Zeus Web Server v4.0 is priced starting at $1,699 for up to two CPUs. After that it is $850 per additional CPU. Load Balancer, which works alongside the Web server, has been optimized to work with v4.0 and is priced starting at $10,000 per pair.
Zeus also announced IIS http Firewall at this time. The IIS firewall product is currently in late beta with a U.K.-based telco and is scheduled for release in the next few weeks.
The IIS http Firewall works at the server level to prevent application denial of service attacks by rejecting requests to process them. To make the screening even more precise, Zeus will also provide customers with updates to prevent specific attacks as they occur.
Parker cited the now often-referenced Gartner advisory that enterprises using IIS and hit by both Code Red and Nimda consider migrating from IIS. While he agrees this makes sense in the long term, he doesn''t see it as practical solution in the short run due to the investment many enterprises have in IIS, from the training of the Microsoft developer staff to the volumes of code itself. He further notes that the migration to Unix and subsequent training isn''t an easy process. IIS http Firewall therefore offers an effective solution until the enterprise is ready to migrate.
Further details on the final launch and pricing on IIS http Firewall should be available in the next few weeks Parker said.
In addition, Zeus Tuesday announced the launch of its free developer program portal which is expected to go live in early 2002. The developer program is designed to move Zeus toward being a platform on which to develop Web-based applications. The site will feature technical workshops, blueprints for architecting Web sites, articles, reference materials, developer tools and services, and a discussion element.