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ApplianSys Ltd
Limited company
Industry Technology
Founded 2000
Headquarters Coventry, United Kingdom
Key people
Mike Clark, CEO
Products Proxy Server, Web cache, DNS Server, DHCP Server, IPAM, WAN optimization, Content Filtering, VOIP

ApplianSys, founded in 2000, is a privately held venture capital-backed technology company based in Coventry, United Kingdom.[1] It designs, builds and markets Internet server appliances[2][3] that are deployed in more than 135 countries.[4] Forrester Research have listed ApplianSys as being a key vendor in the worldwide IP Address Management market, with its DNS engine used in a third of all GPRS networks.[5]


ApplianSys' portfolio of appliances include more than 20 models[6] split across a range including DNSBOX (DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management), CACHEBOX (Web cache, Proxy Server, WAN Optimization and Content Filtering) and VOIPBOX (VOIP Acceleration).

All products are offered in 1U Rackmount or Small Form Factor formats. They are configured via secure web interfaces, with central management console appliances available for large scale deployments.


The DNSBOX range was launched in 2001. It is divided into 4 series:[7]

  • DNSBOX400: DNS, DHCP & IP Address Management (IPAM)[5]
  • DNSBOX300: DNS & DHCP Management
  • DNSBOX200: DNS Slave/Recursive Resolver & DHCP Server (for use with DNSBOX400 series)
  • DNSBOX100: DNS Slave/Recursive Resolver & DHCP Relay (for use with DNSBOX300 series)

They are typically deployed in a 'hidden master' configuration, with the management appliances running on a separate secure network to the DNSBOX100 series appliances that handle queries. A VPN is then used between the appliances for zone transfers.

Management appliances use a combination of open source and proprietary software, developed by ApplianSys and Nixu.[8]

According to IDC's 2007 IPAM report the average DNSBOX customer manages 15,000 IP addresses.[9]


CACHEBOX230 Server Appliance

CACHEBOX is a dedicated web caching proxy appliance with software editions targeted at Education, SME, Corporate/Governmental and ISP markets. Five models offer different performance levels:

  • 420 offers the highest performance and storage in the range with support for more than 6,000 HTTP requests per second. CACHEBOX420 is typically used by ISP networks or in the core of large enterprise/school networks, often as part of a distributed caching service with smaller units deployed closer to users.
  • 310 offers high performance and storage with support for more than 3,600 HTTP requests per second. CACHEBOX310 is typically used by ISP networks or in large enterprise/school networks.
  • 210 and 230 models are high performance 1U rackmount appliances used primarily in ISP networks and medium-large schools. They employ technologies such as Solid State Drives to support more than 2,500 HTTP requests per second. Multiple devices can be clustered together (using protocols such as Cisco's WCCP), offering high availability and scalability.
  • 050 and 100 models are used by schools, ships, branch and small to medium-sized offices. Each support 400 HTTP requests per second and can connect to larger caching appliances upstream or operate independently. By use of energy efficient electronics (such as Intel Atom processors) they are able to operate quietly, drawing minimal amounts of power.

All models feature content delivery network support, allowing sites such as YouTube that use multiple back-end servers to be effectively cached. ApplianSys's licensing model does not restrict by number of users or throughput supported by each device.

CACHEBOX's caching engine employs code from the Squid project.[10]

Customer types include:

  • ISP: Through discontinuation of NetApp's NetCache in 2006 and Packeteer's product line in 2008, Blue Coat's ProxySG is not only a cache, but also a UTM, P2P control and WAN acceleration appliance. The addition of such features (that are more aimed at the corporate market and of limited use to ISPs) have increased the cost per URL/sec that can be cached. Conversely; CACHEbox is one of the only dedicated caches still available.
  • SME: CACHEBOX's use is widespread in developing nations where bandwidth is costly and scarce. Users on satellite internet links for example (where bandwidth is charged by the megabyte) can achieve full return on investment within months of deployment.
  • Education: Through strategic partnerships with content providers (such as Pearson), LEA and Regional Broadband Consortia ApplianSys holds a large share of the UK education caching market. In 2005 it launched the Becta approved Protex content filtering service in collaboration with the East of England Broadband Network,[11][12] who represent more than 2800 schools across 10 authorities. In 2006, it acquired the assets and customer base of its rival Freedom2.[13] It has since expanded activity into the North American schools market and was the caching device most requested by US schools for 2015 E-rate funding.[14]


VOIPBOX is a Voice Over IP WAN Acceleration appliance that allows internet links to carry many more calls than otherwise possible.

When deployed, VOIPBOX appliances create tunnels between one another. VOIP traffic is then carried over the tunnels, subject to techniques including bandwidth shaping, Quality of service, header compression and optimisation. Audio data itself is not compressed, allowing call quality to be retained.

It enables for example, a 128K ADSL line that would otherwise carry 3 G.729 calls to handle up to 28.

Operating system[edit]

ApplianSys maintains its own hardened Linux operating system that has been developed from the ground up with appliance use in mind. All products make use of industrial grade CFast that in most cases stores both the OS and configuration files, minimising or removing reliance on non solid state storage for reasons of both performance and reliability.[15]

After initial deployment using a VGA or serial console, all configuration of ApplianSys products is performed via a secure web interface.[16]


  1. ^ "ApplianSys Legal Page". Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  2. ^ The Morgan Stanley and d&g European Technology Atlas 2005. d&g hi-tech information Ltd. Page 176. ISBN 965-90293-5-7
  3. ^ "Company Snapshot: ApplianSys". Business Week. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  4. ^ "ApplianSys: The server appliance specialist". ApplianSys. Retrieved 2015-01-19. 
  5. ^ a b Mendel, Thomas (2004-06-18). "IP Address Management" (PDF). Forrester Research. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  6. ^ "ApplianSys Case Study" (PDF). Capital Fund. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  7. ^ "DNSbox Range Overview". ApplianSys. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  8. ^ "Do It Yourself DNS". Network Computing. 2003-04-03. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  9. ^ Rainge, Elisabeth (2007). "Worldwide IPAM 2007 Forecast" (PDF). IDC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Squid Based Products". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  11. ^ "Case Study: Cable&Wireless Helps E2BN Deliver Fast, Secure Web Access to Local Authorities & Schools". Cable & Wireless. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  12. ^ "ZDnet Whitepaper". Retrieved 2009-05-05. [dead link]
  13. ^ "ApplianSys Acquires Freedom2 Assests". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  14. ^ "Caching on E-rate for faster web access". ApplianSys. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  15. ^ "Rock Solid Appliances". ApplianSys. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  16. ^ "Lucent edges MetaInfo in IP address management test". Network World. 2005-09-05. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 

External links[edit]