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Sourcefire Claims First IPS For 40 GbE

In what Sourcefire calls an industry first, the security vendor's latest additions to its intrusion protection systems appliance lineup allow quad stacking to grow throughput to over 40 Gbps of IPS inspection for Ethernet networks in 10 Gbps increments. Best known for Snort--its free, open-source network intrusion prevention and detection system (IPS/IDS)--Sourcefire is introducing the mid-market (3D7000 series) additions to its high-end (3D8000 series) systems and the SSL Appliance for "lightning fast" SSL decryption.

Last April, Sourcefire broadened its product line with a new version of its software, Sourcefire 4.10; enterprise-class Sourcefire 8000 series; and a streamlined, easy-to-manage IPS for smaller organizations, Sourcefire IPSx. According to Gartner Research, appliances are a big and growing part of the IPS market, growing 20% in 2010, to $1.4 billion, while the appliance-only IPS portion was expected to hit $1.1 billion, up 10% year over year.

A part of Sourcefire's Agile Security vision of intelligent, adaptive security solutions, new appliances include the 3D7120, which features 1 Gbps IPS inspection, eight-port copper, while the 3D7110 offers 500 Mbps IPS inspection, eight-port port copper. The four new models of the 8000 series include the 3D8250 with quad device stacking, 3D8250-40GbE, 3D8130 4-Gbps IPS inspection and 3D8120 2-Gbps IPS inspection. With up to 2 Gbps of SSL traffic decrypted in up to 10 Gbps of overall traffic, the SSL 2000 appliance works on both in-bound and out-bound SSL traffic. The 8000 and SSL appliances will start shipping next month, while the 7000 series will ship in December.

"I am most intrigued by the 40 Gb capability," says IT-Harvest analyst Richard Stiennon. "Many data centers are moving to 40 Gb, so having interfaces helps FIRE meld with the infrastructure. It also indicates the power Sourcefire is getting out of their multicore Intel platform."

Sourcefire believes 40 Gb will be very important in the future. Quoting Dell'Oro Group, it says shipments in the 40-Gbps optical market will reach $14.5 billion by 2013. Another source, Infonetics, found that last year high-speed ports (10G, 40G, 100G) represented only 3% of all ports sold by manufacturers, but made up 43% of the revenue.

Stiennon says the overall trend in the gateway security appliance market is devices that leverage complete content inspection to replace multiple appliances from multiple vendors. "As Sourcefire prepares to introduce a NGF/UTM (Next-Generation Firewall/Unified Threat Management), I believe they are pre-delivering the platform or at least engineering a platform that will be ready to go when they add in firewall and policy-based filtering."

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