Crossbeam makes an X-Series platform based on an architecture that has been specifically optimized to run security software. Security companies that have partnered with Crossbeam to deploy their software include Check Point, IBM, Imperva, Sourcefire, Trend Micro and Websense.
As IT organizations look to rein in security costs, many of them want to consolidate the number of systems they are running security software on. The Crossbeam platform allows them to run multiple security applications from different vendors on the same platform, thereby saving on the cost of deploying and managing dedicated hardware for each piece of security software.
Crossbeam's biggest competitors are Juniper Networks and Cisco Systems, both of which are making a case for consolidating security software directly on top of routers and switches. Ruffolo argues that while there is much to be gain from consolidation, especially when it comes to energy costs and power consumption, performance requirements dictate that having a central security platform is the more efficient way to achieve that consolidation.
Ruffolo says that smaller organizations may still have a need for dedicated security appliance, but any large IT organization that is pursuing a defense-in-depth approach to security that involves multiple vendors is likely benefit from hardware consolidation that ultimately lowers costs and improves overall performance.