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Effort To Secure 'The Edge' Drives Enterprise-Router Market

The worldwide enterprise-router market is receiving a growth injection from IT managers who need to secure the edge of their enterprises, according to a new report from Infonetics Research Inc.

"The secure portion of the market is growing," said Neil Osipuk of Infonetics in an interview Tuesday. "IT managers need to protect the edge of their enterprises. Companies are using secure routers for corporate-wide rollouts of broadband VPNs [virtual private networks] and remote offices."

Osipuk, who is directing analyst of the market-research firm's Enterprise Routers and Switches unit, said the "secure-router segment" grew 13 percent last year and will increase to 16 percent by 2007. The remainder of the $4.3 billion wired-enterprise-router business is either flat or experiencing very low growth, he said.

According to Osipuk, router manufacturers are meeting the increased security demands by introducing a new class of router with advanced routing capabilities, but also featuring hardware and software support for VPN and firewall functions. Many enterprises are rolling out the improved secure routers in a corporate-wide manner. "We define 'secure,' in this case, as when a router ships with hardware or software support for VPN and when the router may also have firewall security," he explained.

Observing that the demand for routers with more security features is driven by the recent spate of viruses that have hit enterprises worldwide, the report states that enterprises are paying increased attention to making their growing telecommuter and remote offices safer. Osipuk said he found more router manufacturers are using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) schemes as a way to secure connections. The older method--IP SEC--is in use as the standard for encrypting traffic between remote offices and IT headquarters.

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