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TippingPoint helps cluster IPS systems for 10Gbps links

TippingPoint helps cluster IPS systems for 10Gbps links

Core Controller handles up to three 10Gbps segments

TippingPoint is introducing a device that enables the efficient clustering of its intrusion-protection systems so together they can guard traffic on 10Gbps links.

This makes it possible for customers who already own IPSs to protect their investments and to distribute traffic among them so they are used to their full capacity, the company says.

Called Core Controller, the new device shunts traffic from the main 10Gbps line, load balances the traffic among a cluster of IPSs and drops it back on the line after it has been screened.

A beta tester of the device says that it makes more efficient use of the IPSs because it distributes traffic among them evenly. The alternative would be to designate certain traffic to particular IPSs, which might result in some of them being underutilized, says Sean Charnock, vice president of business development for Web hosting firm Softlayer Technologies.

"No one made a 10Gbps [IPS] device," Charnock says, so he uses eight TippingPoint 5000E IPSs and uses a pair of Core Controllers to distribute traffic among them. The 5000Es can be removed for maintenance and the others stay in service fed by the Core Controllers, he says. "It's like a load balancer for IPSs," he says.

TippingPoint says that about half the IPSs it has sold are deployed within networks rather than at the edge. They are more likely to face 10Gbps links within LANs, so the need arose to aggregate IPSs. This enables customers to cluster their current IPSs rather than seek new ones with higher throughput, the company says.

Because many businesses that have upgraded to 10Gbps Ethernet don't actually fill the pipe with traffic, they may be able to get by with less than 10Gbps worth of IPS throughput, TippingPoint says. Over time, as traffic increases, they can add more IPSs, the company says.

The new devices are managed by the same platform that managed the IPSs so both types can be configured easily as a unit. Core Controller has six 10Gbps ports on it to handle as many as three 10Gbps circuits. It has 48 1Gbps copper Ethernet ports to connect with IPSs.

Core controller costs US$60,000 and is available now.


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