Cisco looks to secure the data center with new releases

By , Network World |  Data Center, Cisco

Cisco this week introduced a set of security products designed to fortify data centers as they consolidate, virtualize and morph into clouds.

The new offerings, all available now, are intended to enable enforcement of end-to-end security for high-capacity data centers and mobile workforces. They include:

" A new software release for Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) firewalls;

" Virtualized ASA for multi-tenant environments;

" Data center-optimized intrusion prevention system (IPS);

" And enhancements to the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software.

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Cisco says the products all comply with its SecureX security architecture unveiled in February, 2011. SecureX is designed to provide a context-aware way to safeguard networks increasingly overrun with smartphones, tablets and virtualization.

With a SecureX template, the new products are an attempt to unify network security policies across physical and virtual resources, intra-virtual machine communication, and access to applications by wired and mobile clients.

The ASA firewall's contribution to that unification is Release 9.0 of its operating system software. Release 9.0 is optimized for data center duty, Cisco says, by scaling to 320Gbps of firewall throughput and 60Gbps of IPS throughput, and supporting 1 million connections per second and 50 million concurrent connections.

Release 9.0 also supports clustering of physical ASA devices so scale can be managed as a single entity. Up to eight ASA firewall appliances can be stacked together under a single IP address, Cisco says.

In addition to SecureX context-awareness compliance, Release 9.0 of ASA also supports Cisco's TrustSec security group tags and identity-based firewall capabilities to provide visibility for more granular policy enforcement. The software also provides multi-tenant security to support cloud computing environments, Cisco says.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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