Sourcefire Goes Gigabit

Snort vendor today to unveil multifunction platform aimed at large enterprises, service providers

Sourcefire today will unwrap a new gigabit-speed, combination network sensor appliance that supports next-generation IPv6 networks.

The new 3D9800 is aimed at large enterprises and service providers, and connects at 1 and 10 Gbit/s and handles aggregate throughput of up to 10 Gbit/s, according to Sourcefire officials. The appliance also detects attacks in IPv6 traffic as well as IPv6 traffic tunneled in IPv4.

Sourcefire's 3D platform handles IDS/IPS, NAC, network behavioral analysis, and vulnerability assessment, including Sourcefire's Snort IDS/IPS platform. "They're staying true to their strategy, finding ways to leverage Snort into non-IDS functionality" for the enterprise, says Nick Selby, senior analyst and director of the enterprise security practice at The 451 Group. A key element of Sourcefire's strategy is its recently announced Real-Time User Awareness (RUA) product, he says, which ties security events to specific users rather than just to IP addresses.

"We're not just the IPS vendor everyone knows and loves," says Steve Piper, director of product marketing for Sourcefire. "We're expanding to solutions that benefit enterprises -- defense, IPS, network behavioral analysis, network access control, and vulnerability assessment."

Piper says the company's NAC approach differs from that of Cisco, Microsoft, and the Trusted Computing Group. "We are focused on post-connect -- what the users are doing the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day."

Meanwhile, a wave of next-generation firewalls is starting to incorporate IDS/IPS technology. So what does that mean for Sourcefire and its flagship Snort technology? "We agree there is a lot of synergy between the firewall and the IDS/IPS," Sourcefire's Piper says. But he says the firewall will remain a separate capability in larger enterprises -- as the policy enforcement point.

Sourcefire's 3D9800 Sensor will ship in the second half of the year. Pricing has not been finalized, according to Sourcefire officials.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)
  • The 451 Group
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • Sourcefire Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE)
  • Trusted Computing Group