"In most IT departments, it's hard to have that level of expertise. Yeah, you probably have a couple people in each organization to that could do this, but do you want them to?" he said.
A single install procedure loads both the Solaris operating system and the ManHunt software. Once installed, a single management console can be used to control both the appliance and the ManHunt software.
By taking the vagaries of hardware and software installation and configuration out of the equation, Sun and Symantec are hoping that the iForce will find a home in smaller branch offices where IT resources and technical expertise are in shorter supply, Klein said.
IForce will also meet the needs of Symantec customers who wanted ManHunt ported to an appliance platform while allowing Symantec and Sun to compete in the hot market for intrusion detection and prevention appliances against companies such as Cisco Systems Inc., Klein said.
"ManHunt never had a problem competing technically. The form factor is what we're addressing," Klein said.
The iForce IDS Appliance will retail for US$21,995 and will be available for customers in the U.S. in April, according to the two companies.