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Metanetworks Unveils Gigabit Intrusion Protection Device For Open-Source Security Apps

Metanetworks Technologies, Inc. has unveiled a wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet network intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) designed to monitor applications and support open-source network security.

Based on Metanetworks' Meta Traffic Processor (MTP), developed with support from the National Science Foundation and the US Air Force, the MTP-1G offers what the company claims is the "lowest IPS filtering latency in the world" through massive, fine-grain, instruction-level parallelism. The card passes traffic between its two ports at a latency rate of 400 ns while performing wire-speed packet inspection.

Interfacing with the host operating system as a standard 32-bit PCI network interface card, the MTP-1G is able to run application software like Snort IDS at accelerated speeds. The card is also compatible with other widely-available open source libpcap network monitoring applications by specifying capture and filtering policies using public-domain IDS signatures or standard network monitoring libraries. Metanetworks also provides an application program interface that allows users to custom security and monitoring applications.

The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) demonstrated the MTP-1G card at last weekend's North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG) Conference. The UCSC team has integrated the card into one of its production networks and has been impressed with the results. "The MTP enables a whole range of open source security applications that were not possible before," UCSC consultant network security engineer Paul Tartarsky said in a statement "As far as I can tell, the MTP has eliminated a huge roadblock to developing high performance IDPS applications at a low cost."