SonicWALL has announced a series of four high-end multicore, next-generation firewall appliances, topping out at a 96-core behemoth with clustering options for up to 384 cores. The appliances leverage SonicWALL's deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities to apply application intelligence and user identity for fine-grained policy and rule creation, as well as bandwidth and application usage control. The announcement was made at the RSA Conference today.
SonicWALL claims that the high-end box in the SuperMassive 10000 series, the E10800, delivers 40Gbps firewall throughput and more than 30Gbps for application control and IPS in the full 96-core configuration. The current top-of-the-line SonicWALL appliances feature a maximum of 16 cores.
SonicWALL says it expects the new appliances to, at first, appeal primarily to universities and government agencies. However, Gartner analyst Greg Young says that although SonicWALL has made a major push into the enterprise market in recent years, its primary appeal is still in the SMB space. He believes that carriers and ISPs are the likely primary market for the powerful new appliances.
"The higher-end non-enterprise market, the new market created by cloud services providers, needs security hardware at the higher end," he says. "A lot of the speed and ease of configuration that SMBs would like carry over with them."
All four new appliances use SonicWALL's DPI application intelligence capability, allowing organizations to assign policies based on applications and users/groups by syncing with Active Directory and other directories, rather than simply by port and protocol as is typical of network firewalls. In addition to security, admins can control bandwidth based on application and group, throttling or blocking traffic according to business needs and current traffic.