Nokia has released a network appliance that uses two quad-core Intel Xeon processors with Intel's I/O Acceleration Technology to achieve raw processing speeds of 12gbps, or 5.3gbps with default settings.
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The Nokia IP2450, released last week, is the result of early-stage collaboration between engineers at Nokia, Intel and Check Point.
The unit is aimed at network operators who need to maintain security for corporate firewalls and virtual private networks at speeds above 1gbps.
Running Check Point's VPN-1 Power and VPN-1 UTM security applications and the CoreXL core load-balancing software, the unit will achieve about 1.8gbps with 80% of the malware signatures switched on.
A Nokia spokesman said the unit costs about £4,000 per gbps throughput, which is £800 less than the average identified by a Gartner study of firewall devices.
Adding two high port density cards, which will be released shortly, will increase firewall throughput to about 20gbps, Nokia said.
"We are expecting the refreshed platform to have a working life of at least five years," said David Dorosin, Nokia head of product marketing for security and mobile connectivity.
The multicore platforms offer throughput rates up to 10 times higher than uniprocessors, said Dorosin.
However, the trick was to balance the load across the different cores, and to distribute multiple copies of the security applications, said Nokia. This required a robust optimised operating system, in this case Check Point's CoreXL.
The Nokia IP2450 supports multi-core technology and multiprocessing applications, and allows further expandability and performance improvements through add-on Nokia Accelerated Data Path and Ipso OS upgrades.
Many public and private network operators are looking for higher throughput rates, because applications such as voice over IP, peer to peer file sharing, and video downloads are driving up traffic volumes, said Nokia.
At the same time, threats to data are becoming more sophisticated and targeted, sharpening the need to inspect packet data more deeply.