Crossbeam Systems Inc. this week will unveil the latest version, 3.5, of its X40S security appliance, which adds a slew of new features in an effort to stay a step ahead in the rapidly growing appliance market.
The biggest addition to the appliance is Crossbeams new flow-sequencing technology, which enables administrators to customize the path that traffic takes through the various security applications on the box. Using the new parallelization capability, traffic can be processed by two applications simultaneously.
For example, inbound traffic can be pushed through the firewall, while a duplicate set of packets is sent to an IDS (intrusion detection system) blade outside the perimeter. The main traffic flow then goes to the anti-virus blade and on into the trusted network. At the same time, another set of packets is sent to a second IDS blade inside the firewall.
The idea, Crossbeam officials said, is to give customers maximum flexibility while retaining tight security measures. That ability to adapt is important in an area such as security, where best practices change rapidly and often, said a spokesman at Crossbeam, based in Concord, Mass.
The X40S is unique among the growing crop of all-in-one security appliances in that it is made up of a series of blades and is not based on an application-specific integrated circuit. Each blade can be configured to run any of the applications the box handles.
If one of the blades fails, the dynamic standby takes over that blades duties.
The new version runs the Linux 2.4 kernel, and customers have the option of choosing which applications to run on the box from Trend Micro Inc.s anti-virus software, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.s FireWall-1 and VPN-1, Enterasys Networks Inc.s Dragon IDS, Snort IDS, and others. The X40S 3.5 also includes support for Open Shortest Path First dynamic routing and can be powered by as many as 10 dual-processor blades.
The appliance starts at $55,000.