HP is planning to build virus throttling technology into ProLiant servers and ProCurve switches starting in early 2005, according to a company executive.
The Virus Throttler technology was designed to slow the propagation of a virus or worm within an infected server so that administrators has time to identify the infected system and take appropriate action, vice-president and chief technology officer of HP Services, Tony Redmond, said.
HP first discussed the technology at the RSA Security conference in February, but in August Redmond acknowledged that HP was having difficulty making the technology work with Microsoft's Windows server software.
Those problems had been solved by making Virus Throttler available through a network driver, Redmond said.
Starting in early 2005, ProLiant servers with Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2000 would be able to download the driver and update their Insight Manager software to take advantage of the Virus Throttler product, he said.
Any administrator who has had to disinfect a bank of afflicted PCs or servers knows how quickly viruses can spread, Redmond said. During the Slammer worm outbreak in January 2003, almost 75,000 systems were infected around with world within the first 30 minutes of the attack.
HP's virus throttling technology would help contain the spread of those viruses or worms by slowing the rate at which they multiply within a network,he said. This throttling did not have any effect on the performance of the server or switch.
"We will be building intelligence like this into as many areas of the network that we can reach."
Older ProLiant customers running Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server 2003 should also be able to download the technology, he said.
HP was working on a version of the technology for Linux servers, but that effort was complicated by the number of Linux distributions that were available, Redmond said.
Eventually, HP hoped to build this technology into PCs, but the company had not fully tested the virus throttling technology on PCs and was not ready to announce a timetable for its release, he said.
The virus throttling technology was discussed during an HP event to address growing security problems plaguing Internet users, such as such as viruses, spyware and phishing.
Major enterprises had the resources for dedicated security management, but small businesses and consumers needed help in protecting their data against attacks or exploits, Redmond said.
During the event, HP unveiled a number of new initiatives for both consumers and small businesses that want to protect themselves against the myriad security threats on the Internet.
Consumers would now be able to take security classes through HP's Web site, vice-president of marketing for HP's Personal Systems Group, Deborah Nelson, said.
HP would also spend some of its advertising budget on raising consumer awareness of security threats, she said.
Small businesses can take advantage of several security classes, as well as more hands-on security management services provided by HP's Services division. They can also purchase an updated version of HP's ProtectTools software that now allows IT managers to set up single-sign-on capabilities for their users through the HP ProtectTools Credential Manager.
HP has also introduced new iPaq personal digital assistants (PDAs) with improved security features. The most expensive model in the new hx2000 series, the $US549 hx2700, comes with a built-in fingerprint reader and security management software to protect users in the event that the PDA is lost or stolen.