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Westbridge Technologies' XMS 3.0

XMS 3.0 is Java-based and rides on JVM 1.4, which offers significant performance enhancements. JVM 1.4's non-blocking I/O has translated into up to 25-percent increases in performance for J2EE products, such as application servers, that rely on Java. This is also true for many of the products in the XML Security Gateway market, as a majority of them are J2EE-based.

Westbridge is having somewhat of a cryptographic acceleration identity crisis. The company originally offered the Rainbow/Chrysalis-ITS SSL accelerator, but now is pushing nCipher's nFast 1600 as its SSL acceleration solution. Acceleration is an add-on, not a stock option. Regardless, you'll need to add acceleration onto the price if you'll be taking advantage of encryption or digital signature functionality, although the product won't perform well without it.

I was able to verify the impact of the XMS 3.0's new JVM and caching configuration options in our Green Bay, WI, Real World Labs. The XMS appliance shipped as a 1U, dual Xeon 2.4-GHz server with 1 GB RAM.

XMS 3.0 supports SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL as repositories for logging and policies and easily integrated with the lab's existing SQL Server instance. Device configuration via a browser--Netscape 7+ or IE 5.5+--is relatively unchanged from the earlier version, although it is now possible to bypass the rudimentary workflow implemented for policy creation. It's a nice improvement to the product, as the slightest change to a policy in previous versions required stepping through the entire configuration flow. Not a terrible process, but annoying enough to appreciate the enhancement.


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