Cisco Pushes Firewall and VPN Performance to New Heights With New Adaptive Security Appliances
To address enterprises’ insatiable appetite for high performance and scalable network security, Cisco® today announced the availability of the Cisco ASA 5580 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, the company’s highest-performing security appliance offering. The new Cisco ASA 5580 is a super-high-performance security platform equally well suited for deployment as a highly scalable firewall with up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) of throughput, as well as a 10,000 user remote-access concentrator for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and IP Security (IPsec)-based virtual private networks (VPN).
The Internet and the advent of Web 2.0 applications has heralded an explosion of new device types and extensive use of complex content which is straining existing security infrastructures. Frequently, today’s security systems cannot meet the high transaction rates or depth of security policies necessary in these environments. As a result, information technology (IT) staff often struggle to provide basic security services let alone keeping up with the magnitude of security events generated by these systems for necessary monitoring and auditing, and compliance purposes.
Super High Performance for Data Center Environments and Large Enterprises
The Cisco ASA 5580 Series is designed to protect these media-rich, highly transactional and latency-sensitive applications at the enterprise data center and Internet gateway by providing a security solution with market-leading throughput, the highest connection rates in the industry, very large policy configurations, and very low latency. This makes the appliance highly suitable for the security needs of organizations with the most demanding applications, such as voice, video, data backup, scientific or grid computing, and financial trading systems.
The Cisco ASA 5580 Series consists of three offerings: The Cisco ASA 5580-40 security appliance, Cisco ASA 5580-20 security appliance, and the Cisco ASA 5580-20 Remote Access VPN Concentrator. The top-of-the-line Cisco ASA 5580-40 offers up to two million simultaneous connections, 750,000 security policies and 10 Gbps of firewall throughput scaling up to 20 Gbps for data-intensive applications such as video sharing or storage-area networking. Both Cisco ASA 5580-20 models support up to one million simultaneous connections and 5 Gbps firewall throughput. All models deliver industry-leading connection handling rates of 150,000 connections per second, offer ultra-low latency as low as 30 microseconds, and continue to perform even in strenuous, mixed-traffic environments. This gives enterprise IT departments the coveted performance and speed without sacrificing efficiency or reliability.
The Cisco ASA 5580 Series uniquely addresses the challenge of high-performance security event handling through advancements in Cisco’s NetFlow v9 technology. NetFlow v9 for Cisco ASA 5580 builds upon Cisco’s 11 years of innovation in NetFlow network telemetry with new extensions added for security events, greatly reducing the number and size of individual security event messages while simplifying event aggregation. NetFlow v9 security events can be sent to a Cisco NetFlow Collector, third-party aggregation systems supporting NetFlow v9 security events, or, in the future, Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis and Response System for advanced security event correlation and reporting. With NetFlow v9, the Cisco ASA 5580 Series enables security event management to meet security monitoring and compliance requirements in the most demanding high-speed environments.
Highly Scalable Remote Access Solution for Demanding Environments
The Cisco ASA 5500 family is the industry’s only product line that can provide both full IPsec and clientless, portal-based and client-based SSL VPN remote access capabilities. When combined with the core functionality of the Cisco ASA 5580 Series high-performance firewalling, the platform provides a single security appliance that protects a distributed enterprise’s central data center sites as well as remote locations and mobile users. While customers can add VPN remote access services to any Cisco ASA 5500 model, the Cisco ASA 5580-20 Remote Access VPN Concentrator provides for a simple purchase by combining both the appliance and the SSL license for supporting 10,000 concurrent users in a single platform. When clustered, the Cisco ASA 5580 Series can scale to support up to 100,000 remote access users.
The ASA Cisco 5580 Series’ flexible and scalable VPN deployment model supports all endpoint and user types, including support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Mobile, among other operating environments, and clientless SSL and client-based SSL VPNs to accommodate teleworker and partner connectivity for anytime, anywhere access to critical corporate data. It offers a variety of remote access methods including Transport Layer Security, Datagram TLS, IPsec, and clientless communications providing significant deployment flexibility. The product’s unified graphical management interface simplifies the administration and policy control, providing IT teams with an easy-to-use appliance that handles heavy traffic loads.
“With the explosion of IP traffic, the security dangers targeting data center networks, servers and databases have increased exponentially,” said Dennis Tokarski, manager, telecommunications and network operations, Del Monte Foods. “Cisco’s ASA 5580 is designed to protect our most critical and sensitive resources: information assets housed in data centers. Cisco’s ASA 5580 offers the right combination of performance, integration and scalability that directly addresses complex data center security challenges.”
“The advent of Web 2.0 applications and a huge increase in the number of connections is driving the need for an increasingly high-powered security infrastructure,” said Mick Scully, vice president of product management for Cisco’s Security Technology Group. "Many organizations have been unable to keep up their security posture in the face of burgeoning traffic growth. Cisco’s security strategy involves delivering products that can meet these needs. We recently delivered a data center-caliber intrusion prevention sensor for greater packet inspection, and the Cisco ASA 5580 represents the latest offering from Cisco to provide high-performance firewalling and VPN connectivity. Together, these products bring the promise of our Self-Defending Network strategy to life in high-performance, data-intensive environments.
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