ISS Sets Out 10-Gig Strategy

Security vendor is working on new ASIC technology to drive its push to 10 gigabit and beyond

May 13, 2005

3 Min Read
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Security vendor Internet Security Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISSX) has given a glimpse of its product roadmap for the next 18 months, which involves new ASIC technology and a 10-gigabit IPS device.

Earlier this year, the Atlanta-based vendor launched its high-end G2000 2-gigabit IPS device. However, the appliance does not rely on ASICs for front-end processing. Speaking on a conference call for financial analysts yesterday, Chris Rouland, the ISS CTO, explained that the company is now adding front-end ASICs in an effort to boost its throughput story.

We’re currently developing ASIC boards and we’re testing for throughput,” he said. This will form the basis of a new 10-gigabit IPS device with VOIP protection features, which is due to be launched next year.

However, precise details on the nature of the ASIC are yet to be revealed, although Rouland claims this architecture will help push the company’s IPS technology from 10-gigabit up to 100-gigabit and beyond.

The plans underline ISS’s intentions to make an impact in the IPS space, where a number of vendors, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), are all jostling for position. Despite ISS’s background in intrusion detection software, the firm is regarded as something of a latecomer to this market (see ISS Touts New 2-Gig Device).But it is not just the ISP space that ISS is attacking. Other announcements planned for later this year include adding Layer 2 functionality to the Proventia Integrated Security appliance and the launch of a dedicated mail-security device. This will be followed by the launch of a dedicated URL Web-filtering product.

There are also new software products in the pipeline. Earlier this year ISS unveiled its Proventia Desktop offering, which protects PCs from the likes of spyware and buffer overflow attacks (see ISS Launches Proventia Desktop).

The company is now planning to launch a version for servers in the third quarter. The first release of this will be Windows-based and a version to be launched at the end of the year will cover Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) and SuSE Inc. Linux.

Tom Noonan, ISS CEO, also said he wants to grow the company’s international business, which currently accounts for around 40 percent of the firm’s revenues. Noonan identified parts of Europe such as the Baltic, the former Yugoslavia, and parts of “Middle Europe” as offering a great window of opportunity to help new security infrastructures.

The exec also expressed his desire to grow the channel, which currently accounts for 73 percent of the company’s business. “You will continue to see us move that needle from 73 percent up into the 80 percent [range],” Noonan said.ISS also reaffirmed its guidance for the next quarter during the analyst call, and expects to deliver revenue between $18 million and $20 million, and pro forma earnings per share of 19 cents to 21 cents.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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