Layer 7's XML appliances provide clear upgrade path

Layer 7's XML appliances provide clear upgrade path

Layer 7 Technologies has unveiled its new line of XML appliances

Layer 7 Technologies on Monday unveiled its new line of XML appliances, which are designed to make it easy for enterprises to purchase only the XML acceleration, security and networking features they need.

The new SecureSpan lineup consists of four appliances with progressively more robust feature sets:

- XML Accelerator, which provides document parsing, validation and transformation.

- XML Data Screen, which adds XML threat protection, content filtering and traffic control.

- XML Firewall and VPN, which adds identity and message-level security features.

- XML Networking Gateway, which combines the features of the other appliances with tools for policy-based message routing, mediation, virtualization and service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance enforcement.

While some customers have advanced SOA routing issues to tackle, others are concerned with acceleration or security, says Dimitri Sirota, vice president of marketing and alliances at Layer 7. The new lineup is designed to let an enterprise choose the product that best fits its environment.

The XML Accelerator is aimed at companies that are looking for straightforward acceleration capabilities, such as addressing latency in Web applications that use XML.

Companies in the market for XML security coverage might consider the Data Screen appliance or the Firewall and VPN appliance, Sirota says. Data Screen provides rudimentary protection for Web services and supports applications built on AJAX, RSS and POX. "It's more of a general purpose XML security appliance that looks at XML streams and protects against anomalies, filters out scripts," Sirota says. "You don't have to be an authority on SOA."

The combination Firewall and VPN appliance is geared for more sophisticated, SOA-specific security coverage in cross-domain or business-to-business environments, for example. "It implements all the WS* standards for message-level security, it does all the identity-based operations, it integrates with SSL products. It's a much more sophisticated tool for doing more advanced SOA security," Sirota says.

Networking Gateway goes a step further and adds features including routing based on service-level agreements; traffic management; transport mediation; and protocol translation. Users also can write and deploy custom routing policies with Networking Gateway.

For easy upgrades, customers can purchase additional software licenses without having to swap out their existing gear. "A customer could start off with an Accelerator and, if need be, upgrade it through software to a full-blown Networking Gateway," Sirota says. All the SecureSpan appliances have onboard XML acceleration from ASIC vendor Tarari and hardware-based crypto acceleration, he says. "The innards are the same, we just turn on different functions, depending on the customer's needs."

Pricing for Layer 7's entry-level SecureSpan appliance, the XML Accelerator, starts at US$30,000. Layer 7 is demonstrating its new line of appliances this week at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.

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