Nokia expands security appliance line

High-end IP690 and low-end IP290 will help companies filter malware traffic before it reaches internal systems

Nokia introduced two new network security appliances on April 30, adding high- and low-end models that aim to help companies filter out malware traffic before it penetrates their IT systems.

The Espoo, Finland-based company has been aggressively expanding its security business over the last several years, and company officials said that they launched the two latest device families to address demand for filtering appliances that would handle larger amounts of traffic and help companies manage defenses for branch offices.

The devices also offer customers a greater variety of security software applications, officials said, some of which have been added via third-party OEM partnerships with specialists such as Sourcefire, which lends its IPS to several new models, and Check Point Software, which provides its remote access technologies to others.

At the high end, Nokia introduced its IP690 device, a single-rack appliance that comes in several different flavors, one of which offers firewall and virtual private network capabilities and up to 7GB-per-second throughout, with Check Point providing the VPN and UTM (Unified Threat Management) tools.

The IP690 also features new multicore and multi-architecture to help the devices handle power-hungry network-based applications such as VoIP and video processing, Nokia said.

The second model adds a 1GB-per-second sensor for handling intrusion prevention capabilities, provided by Sourcefire. Company officials said that IPS functionality can also be turned on in all IP690 devices through acquisition of an additional license, cutting out the need to replace the appliances to add the features.

Pricing for the IP690 will start at $29,995, the company said.

"We're hearing from a lot of our customers that they want these security features, but they simply cannot sacrifice performance as more mission-critical apps such as voice move into the IP network," said David Dorosin, director of product marketing for security and mobile connectivity at Nokia. "In the past, companies have been forced to make sacrifices around security for performance, but we're obviously trying to change those perceptions."

Another problem faced by many enterprises is the ability to protect remote office operations, in particular as those locations now most often connect directly to the Internet instead of accessing the Web via their company's central networks.

"These are sometimes seen as the weak link because they've either had to make decisions one way or the other to facilitate connectivity or promote better security, but it shouldn't have to be that way," Dorosin said. "At the same time, central IT has to know that the connection for the remote branch is being protected and have the ability to manage that centrally; we're trying to address all these issues by offering a specific branch office device."

Dubbed the Nokia IP290, the multipurpose, half-single rack-sized appliance will come in several models and start at $3,995.

As with its larger brethren, the IP290 comes in models that offer both Check Point's VPN technologies and Sourcefire's IPS tools.

"Companies of all sizes are telling us that they're looking for new alternatives to help improve security while keeping availability and performance as a prime consideration," said Dorosin. "We're going to continue to add to our product lines where we see opportunities to offer something that allows companies to manage both sides of the equation and where there are fewer product choices than customers are looking for."