In the era of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more major tech brands are being caught out when it comes to cloud-based storage solutions – and their customers are paying the price.
Zeus Technology ZXTM 5.0
ZXTM is described by its manufacturer as an "Application Delivery Controller"-- which basically means it's a combined caching, acceleration, load balancing and traffic prioritisation system.
- Vast raft of features, from basic load balancing to complex traffic management; The arrangement of front-end virtual servers and back-end physical server pools works very well
- We couldn't see a search function in the Help section; a problem in getting it to work with WS2008
The virtual appliance seems a pretty good way to implement ZXTM in the average network, particularly if you're not going to be hammering the processor to death by using SSL encryption/decryption (which is always a CPU-killer)
Price$ 9,104.00 (AUD)
ZXTM is described by its manufacturer as an "Application Delivery Controller" — which basically means it's a combined caching, acceleration, load balancing and traffic prioritisation system. It's available in three forms: as a software product, as a "virtual application" that runs on Windows Virtual Server 2005, and as a hardware application.
We tried the virtual application flavour on a 64-bit WS2003 box. (Initially we'd tried on WS2008, but there was so much farting about to do to persuade Virtual Server to coexist with IIS 7 that we switched back, much more successfully, to WS2003). First, you'll obviously need to install Virtual Server 2005 R2 if you haven't already; although a reboot isn't official obligatory, we found that it wouldn't work without one. Once VS2005 is done, you just run the ZXTM installer and wait (this is one installer where "Starting service: this could take a few minutes" really does mean that).
Our installation chose to attach itself to port 9090 on a new DHCP-acquired IP address, so we pointed a browser at it and we were away (it's an HTTPS connection, so we had to go through the "Yes, I know the SSL certificate is invalid, please let me go there anyway" step). The first time you connect you're walked through a setup wizard that asks you to accept a socking great licence agreement, select a permanent IP address, choose an "admin" password, pick a timezone, and upload a licence file. Hit "OK", wait a minute for the network settings to refresh, reconnect on the permanent IP address you just gave it, and you're away.
The front screen is clean and simple, with a set of round buttons along the top representing the various categories of configuration you can do, and each category being represented by a tabbed page. The first thing you'll probably do is define your server "pools" — groups of server nodes within which connections will be load-balanced. You give each pool a name and a list of the servers that belong therein, and select a method by which the server can monitor whether each server is up; this can be a simple "ping", or a more complex test such as a full round-trip HTTP fetch. The server list is entered as a comma-separated list of entries of the form :, and although this isn't as elegant as, say, having a list of servers to pick from, it's simple enough and it tells you if you've typed anything invalid.
Having created a pool, you can then configure the way that pool works - and there's a shedload of parameters you can configure. Load balancing can be as simple as a round-robin algorithm or as complex as a heuristic based on observed behaviour; you can also give it different weightings for different servers if, say, you have one spanky new big one and one less beefy, older machine. Session persistence (ensuring that all connections relating to a session go to the same server) has a variety of flavours, again ranging from the simple (based on client IP address) to the complex (watching things like J2EE or ASP.NET session cookies). Bandwidth management is much simpler than the previous two tools, allowing you simply to define the bandwidth limit for any connection in the given pool. Next on the list is the ability to add further monitoring types (if you have a multi-purpose pool you might want to monitor, say, HTTP, HTTPS and FTP). Then we have some options for SSL processing, such as choosing whether to SSL-encrypt data before sending it to the back-end server, and finally some assorted connection-oriented settings such as whether or not to make the client's IP address transparent to the back-end server, and whether to try to improve HTTP performance using "keep-alives" — i.e. connections that stay up instead of being torn down at the end of each request.
Once you've defined and configured a server pool, you can create a Virtual Server - an entity that listens for connections and delivers traffic to the pool for processing. A virtual server can listen on all the machine's IP addresses, but you're more likely to want it to listen for connections destined for just a particular set of IP addresses and/or hostnames. The virtual serve configuration screen, like the pool configuration interface, has a pile of different options you can configure: traffic rules, whether to decrypt SSL traffic before passing it to the back-end servers, overload protection, service level monitoring, caching, selective compression of the responses from the server before passing them to the client, and of course access logging.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 5 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
Latest News Articles
- Bitdefender unveils new 2019 product line
- Opinion: Is Microsoft already killing off Windows 7?
- Google bring SMS to PCs with Android Messages for Desktop
- WWDC 2018: Apple gives us a first look at an all-new Mac App Store
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Amazon Prime Day 2018
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?