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NetDevices Packs 'Em In

After almost two years in the development lab, startup NetDevices Inc. emerged from stealth this week with a new "services gateway" targeted at regional data centers and branch offices (see NetDevices Intros SG-8 Gateway).

The startup's SG-8 device is an all-singing, all-dancing data center box, combining a range of security, voice, and network technologies. These include firewall, VPN, intrusion detection and prevention, switching, routing, and voice over IP (VOIP). NetDevices claims the unit has an overall throughput of 1 Gbit/s.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup is pushing the 3U-high SG-8 as a way to help users reduce the number of devices deployed in their networks, thereby cutting operating costs and making life easier for staff. The vendor claims it's a perfect fit for the regional data center.

Hang on: Isn't this an invitation to the old "single point of failure" bugaboo? Indeed, for many users, deploying all-in-one devices on a remote site is seen as a risky business, because if it goes out, so does the site.

Not so, says NetDevices' Mark Weiner, senior director of marketing. While he admits the worry for users, he says the SG-8 has been specifically designed to get round this problem. Firstly, the device's underlying architecture is designed to keep running even if one of its service functions is down. This is similar to the approach taken on core platforms within carrier networks, such as routers, he says.

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