CA, Partners Ready Security Appliances

Hardened devices to feature CA's eTrust.

Following the lead of many of its competitors, Computer Associates International Inc. has announced plans to debut a series of hardened security appliances jointly with longtime channel partners. This is CAs first foray into the appliance market, and it comes on the heels of similar moves by several other security vendors, including Network Associates Inc. and Symantec Corp.

The first set of new boxes will feature CAs eTrust Antivirus software and will be followed later this year by a series of appliances based on the companys eTrust Intrusion Detection. The hardware is coming from SteelCloud Inc., a small vendor that has had a reseller relationship with CA for several years. SteelCloud, based in Dulles, Va., sells its own security appliances and has a long history of selling into the federal government market.

For CA, the decision to get into the appliance side of the security market was driven by customer demand.

"It really comes down to customer choice. We want to make sure were flexible enough to address whatever customers want," said Ian Hameroff, eTrust security strategist at CA, based in Islandia, N.Y. "Its another product in our portfolio for customers to choose from."

The anti-virus gateway, which will be available in July, will come in two configurations based on scalability: the 3000 and the 5000. The intrusion detection appliances are set for general availability in the fall, Hameroff said.

CA has been focused on software and as a result is a bit late to the security-appliance party. Many of the big security players have been pursuing hardware strategies for some time, and others, including Internet Security Systems Inc., have recently jumped into the appliance game. ISS last week announced the availability of its Proventia A Series appliances, the first of a long line of boxes due from the Atlanta-based vendor in the next months.

Cisco Systems Inc., NAI and Symantec are also moving into the hardware market. Cisco, of San Jose, Calif., for years has sold its firewall and virtual private network on appliances, but it also plans to add intrusion prevention technology from its recent acquisition, Okena Inc., to its appliances.

NAI, of Santa Clara, Calif., and Symantec, of Cupertino, Calif., are concentrating on developing all-in-one appliances that can handle anti-virus, intrusion detection and firewall duties.

Pricing for the SteelCloud 3000 starts at $13,750 and for the 5000 at $22,500.