Cisco Expands Firewall Product Line

By Caron Carlson  |  Posted 2002-02-25

Cisco Systems Inc. this month beefed up its line of firewall products to improve network security and VPN performance.

Two firewall upgrades, the Pix 506E and Pix 515E, provide improved performance over the Pix 506 and Pix 515 firewall platforms. The enhanced products are slated to provide performance increases of up to two and a half times, according to Richard Palmer, vice president and general manager of virtual private network and security services at Cisco.

Calling the firewall product line "the broadest in the industry," Palmer said the upgrades will aid e-business by providing multiple security components integrated into the infrastructure. In that same vein, integration among various security components will promote safe e-business applications, he said.

For example, the addition of integrated hardware-based VPN acceleration in the firewalls allows high-performance VPN capacity and at the same time allows network resources to be used for other security functions. "We have embedded VPN acceleration across this family," Palmer said. "Also, were enabling increased integration of security elements in the network."

Later this quarter, Cisco plans to roll out Version 6.2 of its Pix operating system, with new features for small-office, home-office and enterprise networks. The new version will facilitate highly scalable VPN installations and provide enhancements for firewall deployments, including new LAN-based failover capability. Pix firewalls will be able to serve as hardware-based VPN clients, easing the management of large VPN deployments for small and remote offices.

"Now we have small hardware devices that are slaves, from a configuration point of view, to a central site," Palmer said. "Were extending this notion across Ciscos VPN portfolio."

The San Jose, Calif., company also officially launched the Safe Blueprint for IP telephony, designed to help enterprises maximize security and enable e-business functions.

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