Lightning-fast VPNs

If you feel the need for speed, look to Asita Technologies, which makes one of the fastest pieces of hardware in the VPN world.

The company last month launched a family of VPN boxes called LineSpeed that supports IP Security (IPSec) VPNs, a packet-filtering firewall and policy-based routing that helps ensure quality-of-service levels for designated applications or user groups.

Following quickly on that announcement, the company has now started shipping LineSpeed GS2, a modular chassis that supports IPSec VPNs at up to 2G bit/sec. It also supports a range of other features, including firewalling, load balancing, content checking, URL checking, intrusion detection, denial-of-service detection, antivirus protection and policy routing and management.

This comes less than two months after Cisco and NetScreen announced their 1G bit/sec firewalls that actually outstrip the VPN speed of their equipment.

The Asita box accomplishes its speed via hardware cards that each can support different applications. So, for instance, a GS2 might have one module that performs IPSec VPN functions, and a separate card that supports an anti-virus application. Different applications can be added to other modules. Asita has some of these applications ready to roll and is working with partners to develop others.

The chassis itself has a 64G bit/sec backplane to handle the movement of packets among the hardware modules at line speed.

This modular approach to network security should be attractive to the biggest enterprises, which are likely to have large numbers of VPN users. Because it is modular, customers can grow the system as needed, rather than making an initial large investment into an oversized system and then trying to grow into it.

It is also large enough for service providers to use. It has the ability to partition customer traffic via virtual routers within the GS2, the company says.

The box ranges in price from $75,000 to $375,000 and is available now.

This story, "Lightning-fast VPNs " was originally published by Network World.

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