PGP Readies Gigabit-Speed Ethernet

PGP, a division of Network Associates, Monday announced it is developing a firewall with gigabit-strength throughput to sell to the service-provider market.

Based on PGP's Gauntlet firewall running on a Sun server, this Internet sentry will be able to support speeds between OC-3 to OC-12, says Sandra England, president of PGP Security. The high-speed firewall is expected to ship before year-end at a price of $150,000.

The high-speed firewall, which will compete against products from vendors that include Cisco Systems and NetScreen Technologies, is designed for use by carriers and ISPs rather than enterprise business customers.

Service providers, particularly those hosting e-commerce storefronts or Web server farms, may be using multiple firewalls and load-balancing equipment to control user access through high-speed lines, England says. PGP's high-speed firewall is intended to replace use of multiple firewalls in that kind of network-access scenario. She notes that ISPs could also offer managed firewall services using the gigabit-speed firewall.

The service providers themselves say high bandwidth is important to them in selecting firewalls, though hardly the only factor. The number of simultaneous connections the firewall supports is also a critical factor, says Rocco Youmanis, director of e-commerce custom solutions at Verizon Communications. "There are a lot of different ingredients here that are important," he says.

Verizon uses the Check Point Software Technologies's 401 firewall to provide managed services to large enterprise customers, and the WatchGuard Firebox II for small and midsized businesses.

England says PGP has not yet released technical statistics on the number of simultaneous users that can connect to its gigabit-speed firewall, but expects to make those details available around the time the product ships.

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