While the acquisition of McAfee presented some tantalizing possibilities in the terms of improving the overall IT security situation, the process by which the respective technologies involved might be integrated has proven fairly extensive.
This week, however, McAfee rolled out is first major networking products based on actual Intel processors. Rather than relying on custom ASIC processors, the McAfee product line is now firmly set to ride the curve of Moore’s Law into the future.
The latest McAfee security offerings include a new network intrusion appliance that can support up to 40Gbps of throughput. According to Vinay Anand, vice president of product management for McAfee Network Security, McAfee plans to roll out a full range of these appliances to cover use cases that will span from 1 to 40Gbps. Anand says these appliances combine custom board-level designs with Intel processors and solid-state drive technology to essentially analyze networks for intrusion as near line rate speeds.
The McAfee Network Security Platform NS-series is the second major security move McAfee made this week. The company also announced that it is acquiring Stonewall, a provider of next-generation firewalls that McAfee will market alongside its existing line of firewalls. According to Anand, while application owners tend to be the primary people acquiring next-generation firewalls that are specifically designed to secure applications, network managers still prefer to also deploy traditional firewalls that provide higher levels of performance.
Anand says it will take a while for McAfee to integrate Stonewall into the framework that McAfee has developed for managing security, but in the meantime Stonewall will serve to fill a gap in the current McAfee security portfolio.
As the McAfee security infrastructure portfolio continues to evolve in the enterprise, Anand says the company will also add load balancers based on Intel processors later this year. At least within enterprise security, vendors are making the case that unless a company can provide a full portfolio of products from the endpoint to the cloud, security is going to not only expensive but probably flawed.
That thinking may run counter to the defense of in-depth strategies involving multiple vendors that many IT organizations have already deployed. But as the cost of security continues to rise, end-to-end security provided more cost effectively by a single vendor may be getting more appealing.