Do you ever have that clear understanding of something that comes from long observation? You just know things have to be a certain way? And then you look around and wonder what takes the rest of the world so long to see it?
I was afraid that 3Com buying Tippingpoint was a fluke. 3Com couldn't possibly be the visionary trendsetter could they? But yet, they were the first of the switch vendors to move into security. (Don't talk to me about Cisco, I am not talking about IDS blades here.) And you gotta love the full page ads in the Wall Street Journal.
Now the news that Force10 is buying MetaNetworks. Although I can't grok the IDS/IPS thing. I just don't understand why you would want anything that processes packets at 10 Gig to be able to alert and not take action. Maybe it is just marketing. Lots of companies still have IDS departments and IDS line item budgets so maybe you need that in your literature to sell it to the legacy security folks. Whatever.
The point is, the switch vendors are finally cluing into the fact that the way to compete with Cisco is with security. Cisco is going down the path of host security - a perfect opportunity for a network/hardware/security company to get their foot in the door at big entrenched Cisco shops.
Now, I am waiting for the first switch vendor to snap up a Netflow modeling vendor. When Arbor, Mazu, Q1Labs, Lancope, get scooped up I will know that we are finally aproaching the era of secure networks.