3Com Integrating Security into Networking Fabric

3Com is integrating the security capabilities from its TippingPoint business with the networking offerings from its H3C business to help businesses create a secure networking fabric that officials say will drive down costs and complexity while increasing security. 3Com also is combining security and network management into a single console. The move comes three months after 3Com announced it was re-entering the enterprise networking space as a low-cost alternative to Cisco.

3Com, which jumped back into the enterprise networking business in May, is now looking to bring greater security into that area of the data center.

3Com Aug. 31 announced that it is rolling out a host of security solutions that leverages its TippingPoint security technologies and H3C networking products to enable businesses to create a secure network fabric.

The company will integrate TippingPoint's IPS (intrusion prevention system) with H3C's networking and security offerings into its new Secure Network Fabric.

Both the security and networking management will done through a single point, Dave Larson, vice president of integrated product strategy for TippingPoint, said in an interview.

"Unifying neworking and security management under a common console ... will be a key part [of the strategy]," Larson said.

In February, 3Com officials chose not to continue pursuing spinning off or selling TippingPoint, with the idea that they could offer security solutions in appliances, he said.

Part of the Secure Network Fabric will be security appliance and embedded security blades in the H3C network chassis, a move that not only will improve performance but also integrate security at more points in the network. The devices include the H3C SecPath F-Series and H3C SecBlade VPN (virtual private network) firewalls, which also were announced Aug. 31.

The firewalls comes in appliance and blade form factors, and are aimed at all points of the networking fabric, from the edge to the core, as well as the data center and high-speed computing environments.

The devices will offer 1 Gigabit and 10Gbps interfaes and IPSec and SSL VPN security. They will be able to run in branch offices to data centers, 3Com officials said.

In comparison with Cisco Systems offerings, Larson said the 3Com products will take up less space and consume less power, and reduce capital and operation expenses.

In addition, 3Com will embed TippingPoint IPS blades and H3C security modules in the network infrastructure products provided by H3C, Larson said.

The unified management will come through a framework that will be based on TippingPoint's SMS (Security Management System) and H3C's IMC (Intelligent Management Center).

3Com began its push back into the enterprise space in May, lead by products from H3C, the networking company it owned in China. 3Com had exited the enterprise networking space about five years ago to focus more on its SMB business, but officials earlier this year said that with the global recession forcing businesses to look for low-cost alternatives to Cisco, now was the best time to jump back into the enterprise market.