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Foundry hammers security into switches

Foundry is the latest vendor to build firewall and denial-of-service protection into the network
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor

Foundry Networks has become the latest LAN equipment vendor to build security into its switching portfolio.

Foundry has released four new hardware and software products, all aimed at building firewall and denial-of-service protection into the network.

Its move follows strategic announcements from other key networking vendors, including Cisco and Enterasys, which have been pursuing a similar roadmap. All three vendors see an opportunity to build security features into the network as the network perimeter begins to blur and it becomes harder to protect.

So-called deperimeterisation is occuring largely because of the profileration of the mobile devices used in most businesses.

"The need [for security] is no longer concentrated at one point in a network. Security needs to be extended out to the edge of a network," said Gopala Tumuluri, director of product marketing at Foundry Networks.

Joel Conover, research director at Current Analysis agreed. "Embedding application intelligence into the LAN infrastructure for enhanced security provides a high-value proposition for enterprises," Conover said.

Foundry's new products are:

  • A secure LAN switch, called SecureIron LS, which handles authentication and network access control;
  • New ServerIron Application Switches, which sit in front of applications and servers to optimise the flow of applications across a network;
  • Three new ServerIron switches aimed at SMEs and available at much lower cost; and
  • Secure Iron Perimeter Traffic Manager, which is designed to be deployed as a front-end to existing firewalls to provide hardware-based security. The PTM can offload a range of features from firewalls, including access control lists, anti-DoS, NAT and application rate controls. This should be far cheaper than deploying a firewall upgrade.

The Server Iron products now come with an upgraded operating system which provides a firewall designed for protecting web-based applications. Pricing details were not available at the time of writing.

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