Secure Computing plans to unveil a line of firewalls that combines the best features of two separate lines and at the high end doubles to one million the maximum number of simultaneous connections supported.
The Sidewinder G2 appliances eventually will replace the company's current Sidewinder firewall and the Gauntlet firewall it acquired a year ago from Network Associates.
The new line will feature six firewalls, ranging from the small-office Model 25 to the high-end Model 4000, plus a management appliance based on technology that borrows heavily from the Gauntlet line. All of the Sidewinder G2 models can be managed centrally via the G2 Enterprise Manager.
Secure Computing said its new firewalls would allow for filtering based on a variety of techniques, such as stateful inspection and application-layer proxies.
"We have 15 application-specific proxies for mail, DNS, HTTP, the Web, FTP, SQL and others," director of product marketing, Paul DeBernardi, said. This made it possible for administrators to conduct detailed inspection of applications traversing the firewall based on their content.
In coming months, Secure Computing plans to add antivirus filtering to the Sidewinder G2, based on a scanning engine in the works by partner Network Associates.
Although filtering of Web services is an area of growing concern for vendors of gateway products such as firewalls, Secure Computing won't tackle XML-based filtering for at least a year. At that time, Secure Computing will also announce a scheduled "end-of-life" deadline for phasing out the old Sidewinder and Gauntlet.
Secure Computing is the first firewall vendor to put its management console into an appliance. The company said it did this to alleviate any difficulty in loading its software onto general-purpose hardware platforms.
The appliance can be used to manage approximately 400 Sidewinder G2 firewalls, authenticating them with digital certificates, and serving as a central repository for firewall logs and backups.