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A big security switch

Jan 31, 20062 mins
Network SwitchesNetworkingSecurity

* 3Com marries TippingPoint IPS technology with LAN switching

A year ago, 3Com bought security vendor TippingPoint for $430 million. This week, 3Com introduced a device that combines large-scale LAN switching with intrusion prevention.

A chassis-based intrusion prevention system (IPS), the TippingPoint M60 can scale up to 60Gbps, which 3Com is saying is an industry first. It can accommodate 10 Gigabit interfaces, or 144 ports of Gigabit Ethernet.

In other words, it takes the current trend of marrying LAN technology with security technology and brings it to its logical conclusion.

As my colleague Phil Hochmuth notes in his story this week, the M60 draws heavily from technology developed in conjunction with Chinese router maker Huawei Technologies (as does any enterprise LAN gear from 3Com these days). Bringing to the table the security expertise gained through the TippingPoint acquisition – now contained within a 3Com division – is an interesting move.

3Com says the M60 was developed because customers were asking for faster interfaces and higher port counts. It is available in versions with seven, 10 or 14 slots for IPS modules. The modules include: the T5000, a 5Gbps IPS module; the T2000, a 2Gbps IPS module; and the T1000, a 1Gbps module.

3Com says the modules have the same functionality as other TippingPoint IPS products. The new modules offer 12 Gigabit Ethernet ports each, in either copper or fiber. Each module can handle 2 million simultaneous connections and 1 million connections per second “with switch-like latency of less than 150 microseconds,” 3Com says.

The modules block worms, viruses, spyware, and denial-of-service attacks.

3Com says the chassis and modules will ship in the second half of this year.