Check Point claims to double firewall speed when running on Intel Woodcrest

* Check Point boosts speed of VPN-1 software when running on Intel's new chip

Check Point says its VPN-1 software on servers powered by new Intel processors runs at speeds rivaling purpose-built appliances using custom chips.

Check Point claims the software offers 10Gbps of firewall protection and 3.2Gbps of AES encryption when it is installed on servers equipped with Intel Xeon Woodcrest processors. The servers also support 430Mbps of intrusion prevention, Check Point says.

The firewall speed for the previous Xeon was about 5Gbps, by comparison, Check Point says. Servers made with Xeon Woodcrest processors are due out in bulk later this year.

There has long been a truism in the field of VPNs that custom chips designed specifically for VPN appliances with firewalls attain higher top speeds than firewall/VPN software on general-purpose servers. This puts VPN-1 speed potential among the fastest firewall/VPN options.

Check Point says customers can load their currently licensed VPN-1 software on Xeon Woodcrest-based servers without paying more, giving them faster gateways for the price of the server hardware.

This will be particularly attractive among current Check Point customers where this may be the least expensive option for a speed upgrade. For customers looking for a fast gateway who are not Check Point customers, this will be a viable option.

Organizations that need that much speed may be looking for multiple function gateways that run different security software on separate hardware blades, giving them the option to pick and choose the software from whatever software vendors they want. Even so, Check Point's security software is well respected and this may be one of the options large customers should consider.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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