• United States
Executive Editor

Check Point and Broadcom improve PC VPN performance

Feb 20, 20032 mins
Check PointNetworkingSecurity

* Broadcom PCI board integrates with Check Point software

For those of you using Check Point VPN-1/Firewall-1 software on a PC platform, there is good news about performance.

The integrated circuit company, Broadcom is selling a PCI board for accelerating the encryption, encryption key processing and hashing required by IPSec. The bottom line is that the PCI board will handle these functions without taxing the CPU of the box, thereby improving overall throughput.

The board, with the easy-to-remember name of BCM95822CP, was designed specifically to interoperate with Check Point’s software and is the fruit of a two-year-old relationship between the two companies. Check Point worked to streamline its software for better performance and Broadcom developed hardware to optimize the software. They have both completed their tasks.

Broadcom says the card can be slipped into VPN appliances, routers and servers without the need for additional software.

Many VPN vendors base their value on custom processors that speed encryption and have attacked Check Point for relying on PCs as a hardware platform. Other Check Point partners have stepped up to build custom hardware appliances for the Check Point software, but that has not stopped attacks on the PC option. This is an attempt to answer that criticism.

The BCM95822CP promises 500M bit/sec throughput for encryption, which puts it comfortably within the needs of service providers and all but the largest businesses. This should help put to rest the argument about the performance of PC platforms and let the debate move to areas such as cost, reliability and how easy they are to manage.