Nokia Technology Minimizes Failover Time

New clustering technology for Nokia's firewall and VPN solutions will preserve all user sessions if one of its security devices fails.

Nokia Corp. on Wednesday will introduce a new clustering technology for its firewall and VPN solutions that will preserve all user sessions if one of its security devices fails.

The new technology is part of the companys alliance with Check Point Software Technologies Inc. and will eventually extend to Nokias other security appliances.

Known as IP Clustering, the technology will automatically switch every active user session from any box that fails to a backup appliance. Currently, Nokias VPN and firewall solutions support active-passive clustering, a configuration in which the secondary device acts as a kind of "hot" backup for the main machine, but cant maintain existing user sessions, Nokia executives said.

Nokias firewall appliances are based on Check Points FireWall-1 software, and the companys VPN line uses Check Points VPN-1 technology.

The new IP Clustering technology will be delivered as a feature in Nokias IPSO secure operating system. Existing customers will be able to download it as a software update.

Using the new feature, customers will be able to string together as many as four security devices, which will share one internal IP address and one external IP address. Packet-processing duties are shared evenly among the connected devices.

The goal is to minimize failover time if a device fails or an administrator takes it offline for maintenance.

"The security industry has become all kinds of pieces, but we see security and reliability as part of our service," said Dan MacDonald, vice president of product management and marketing at Nokias Internet Communications division in Mountain View, Calif.

IP Clustering will be available later this summer in IPSO 3.6.