Cisco Extends Network Security Portfolio With Firepower 2100 Series

Here are your top news stories from eWEEK. Today's topics include Cisco’s expansion of its network security portfolio, Google’s decision to allow the Media Rating Council to audit its ad viewing metrics, the addition of the Always On Availability Groups to Microsoft SQL Server vNext and OpenStack’s release of the OpenStack cloud platform with the debut of Ocata.

Cisco is expanding its network security portfolio with new hardware announced on Feb. 22 that provides next generation firewall protection and management capabilities.

The new hardware includes the Cisco Firepower 2100 Series NGFW, which initially will have four different models. The Firepower NGFW technology originally came to Cisco in 2013 as part of the $2.7 billion acquisition of Sourcefire.

In October 2016, Cisco announced its new Firepower NGFW as the next generation of Cisco's firewall hardware, with the aim of providing firewall, IPS and URL filtering capabilities as well as integration out to secure endpoints.

"The Firepower 2100 is expected to be an alternative to NGFW customers who would have previously considered some of the ASA 5500-X product line; specifically, the ASA5525-X, 5545-X and 5555-X," Mark Bagley, director, product management, Network Security at Cisco told eWEEK.

Google will allow the Media Rating Council to audit the ad viewing metrics and measurements that it reports to advertisers on its YouTube video sharing site.

The goal is to reassure advertisers that the viewing statistics and other data Google provides them—directly or through third-party firms—about how their ads fare on YouTube are accurate and reliable.

The MRC is an industry body that was established in the 1960s under the direction of the U.S. Congress to ensure that the audience measurement data and services provided by TV, cable, radio and other entities are valid.

Microsoft has released Community Technology Preview 1.3 of the next version of SQL Server for both Windows and Linux, codenamed SQL Server vNext.

The newest preview release follows last month's CTP 1.2, which included SUSE Linux support. This time around, the software giant added the Always On Availability Groups feature to the Linux edition, enabling customers to test the database software's hardiness while running critical workloads.

Always On Availability Groups works on all supported Linux distributions, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu and the aforementioned SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

It enables multi-database failover, fast failure detection and failover and database-level health monitoring and failover triggering, among other capabilities designed to help keep critical applications up and running in the event of an outage or other mishap that strikes a customer's data center.

The OpenStack Foundation announced on Feb. 22 the 15th release of the OpenStack cloud platform with the debut of the Ocata edition.

The latest open-source cloud infrastructure platform release had only four months of development time, rather than the typical six months, though it's still packed with new features and usability improvements.

The OpenStack Ocata release follows the OpenStack Newton release that debuted in October 2016. The shorter release cycle is due to a realignment of the OpenStack development process that was announced during the Newton development cycle.

Among the features that debuted in OpenStack Ocata are a number of improvements to help support container workloads.

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