3Com, Crossbeam Team Up on Security Appliances

3Com and Crossbeam unveil an OEM deal.

3Com Corp. is the latest vendor to join the security appliance fray, announcing an OEM relationship with Crossbeam Systems Inc.

The agreement enables 3Com to sell two of Crossbeams appliances—the C30 and the X45—under the 3Com name. In addition, the companies plan to jointly develop an appliance aimed at the lower end of the market.

For Crossbeam, the partnership provides better entree into the upper echelon of the enterprise market, where 3Com has dwelt for most of its existence.

"Obviously, 3Com is the premier networking company, and we want to take on Cisco in the high end of the market," said Peter George, CEO of Crossbeam, based in Concord, Mass.

The X45 is designed for the midsize enterprise and, as with all of Crossbeams boxes, includes a range of security applications.

Customers can select from among firewall, anti-virus, intrusion detection, content filtering and other functionalities and get only the applications they want.

The C30 is a turnkey appliance available in a variety of configurations, including a few bundles designed to address specific needs such as Web security or network access.

3Com, of Marlboro, Mass., will begin selling the C30 by months end and plans to have the X45 under its banner by the end of next month. The 3Com-branded products may have different names from those sold by Crossbeam, however.

Crossbeams appliances are distinct in the security industry in that none of the applications on the boxes is Crossbeams.The company has formed partnerships with a number of security vendors, including Internet Security Systems Inc., Trend Micro Inc., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. and Enterasys Networks Inc.