NetDevices is introducing a chassis that brings its multi-function security box down to a size suitable for branch offices.Called SG-4, the appliance includes firewall and VPN capabilities, but also delivers intrusion prevention and detection. The company's previous piece of equipment, the SG-8, has room for 32 LAN ports and eight WAN ports. The SG-4 has eight LAN and four WAN ports. Both machines share the same cards.The main feature that sets NetDevices gear apart from other vendors' touting multi-function boxes is that the hardware is tuned to handle the processing load of multiple applications at once without degrading performance. Its gear didn't start out as a firewall\/VPN appliance that is becoming something else by adding software.Along these lines, the products feature software that enables management access to individual cards and components on the device as well as software that increases uptime by allowing upgrades to applications while other processes run undisturbed on the machines.These features are attractive to businesses that want to deploy equipment in branch offices and take care of it without having to visit the site.The SG equipment includes a SIP gateway today, making it simpler for VoIP calls to cross its firewall. The company says it has a full-blown IP PBX planned for the devices down the road. SG devices already support QoS, which will be key to providing acceptable quality voice calls. It also plans to add power-over-Ethernet ports so the switches can power phones directly.SG-4 costs $8,000 and is available now.