Cisco High-Performance IPS Takes on Data Center Threats

Cisco's latest intrusion prevention offering is enhanced to protect high-speed data center connections.

Cisco is targeting data centers and transaction-heavy networking environments with its new high-performance intrusion prevention system.

Cisco IPS 4270 is designed to deal with high-density traffic loads, offering up to 4G-bps performance for media-intensive environments with Web-based content and video. For networks with many transactions such as e-commerce and VOIP (voice over IP), the new appliance provides 2G bps of throughput and supports as many as 20,000 transactions per second.

"The kind of performance capabilities we're talking about … [are] designed to address the most punishing data center environments," said Robert Berlin, senior product marketing manager at Cisco Systems. "This runs under the same IPS software that runs in all of the other Cisco IPS devices … The fact that the same software runs on all of those means that a customer that is already familiar with our IPS can quickly adopt the 4270 to their environment and get it up and running very rapidly."


Click here to read about guest access management functions in Cisco's NAC (Network Admission Control) products.

Phil Hochmuth, an analyst with the Yankee Group, said the key feature of this product was not so much the greater scale in gigabits per second, but the number of IPS connections per second the box can set up and tear down.

"The new box is up to something like 25k or 30k connections [per] second, which is an order of magnitude greater than previous Cisco IPSes," he said. "This very fast setup and tear-down is important for scanning highly transactional data streams from applications such as VOIP, Web 2.0 or large credit card processing systems."


The appliance enables IT organizations to "virtualize" both inspection and policy information, allowing intrusion prevention services to be woven into the overall data center system. In addition, it also supports thousands of interfaces for VLANs (virtual LANs).

IPS 4270 includes redundant, hot-swappable power options and a scalable interface that accommodates high-density copper and fiber Gigabit Ethernet ports. It integrates with Cisco's IPS Device Manager for stand-alone management, and can also be managed with Cisco Security Manager and Cisco Security MARS (Monitoring Analysis and Response System) for multiunit deployments.

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