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SonicWall Gives Firewall Switch Some Juice

SonicWall on Monday introduced a new version of its Pro 1260 firewall, giving solution providers more ammunition to become managed security service providers.

The 24-port Pro 1260 Enhanced, unveiled at CMP Media's XChange Solution Provider conference in New Orleans, is essentially a managed Layer 2 switch, facilitating a technology that enables administrators to enforce different security policies for up to two dozen independent users. The appliance also can be configured to secure any combination of internal workgroups, public servers, WANs and wireless access using SonicWall's Secure Wireless solution, according to John Keenan, director of East Coast sales at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.

"However they want to deploy it, this is a great way for solution providers to set up a managed service," Keenan said. "On the customer side, they can use [the Pro 1260 Enhanced] to control a network in-house or on a managed basis."

The Pro 1260 Enhanced's management capabilities are delivered through the SonicWall PortShield architecture in the SonicOS Enhanced operating system. PortShield provides capabilities similar to those of a virtual LAN. The technology allows all 24 ports on the Pro 1260 Enhanced to be independently configured into custom security zones, each with its own "virtual firewall" capability. That ensures the ports are secured from the Internet as well as from other devices on the LAN, Keenan said.

"A small business could have a separate policy for every user," he said.

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