powered by TMCnet

Wire Speed

Wire Speed Feature

September 20, 2010

GE Intelligent Platforms Deliver at Wire Speed

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

NEI, a provider of application platforms and lifecycle support services for software developers, OEMs and service providers worldwide, has engaged with GE Intelligent Platforms (News - Alert) to integrate GE OCTEON-based PCIe IP packet processor cards with its new N-2710 NEBS Level 3 certified rack mount server.

Officials with NEI said that the combined solution is designed to perform deep packet inspection for security gateway applications such as content inspection, data security encryption/decryption (SSL/IPSec/TLS), network monitoring, lawful interception and traffic management.

Deep packet inspection is performed as a packet passes an inspection point in order to search for non-compliance, viruses, spam, intrusions or any other predefined criteria.

Many commonly used security applications incorporate stateful packet inspection, which simply checks the header of a packet.

With the internal and application threat environment rapidly evolving in today's networks, protecting only the network edge and lower layers with stateful packet inspection techniques is no longer an acceptable risk for many businesses, resulting in the need for the more comprehensive protection offered with deep packet inspection approaches.

According to company officials, the N-2710 2U carrier grade server is built on the Dell (News - Alert) PowerEdge R710 server and provides dual socket support for up to two Intel Xeon 5600 Series 6-core processors, combining high performance with power efficiency to provide improved performance-per-watt over previous generation rack-mount servers.

Company officials said that featuring up to 144GB DDR3 (Double Data Rate) -1333MHz Error Correcting Code (ECC) Registered Memory, the high-performing, rugged server is designed for the demanding environment of the telco central office, as well as for network data centers and enterprise networks.

The ability to install up to four PCIe I/O cards allows VARs, ISVs, NEMs, and OEMs to deliver lower-cost communications solutions and services with the N-2710 server.

GE's packet processing capabilities provide secure, high-speed connectivity and complex security processing at wire speed performance.

GE OCTEON-based PCIe IP packet processor card options for the N-2710 include WANic 5434 4-port Gigabit Ethernet, WANic 5654 4-port Gigabit Ethernet with XAUI board-to-board interconnect and WANic 56512 2-port 10Gigabit Ethernet.

"Universal connectivity clearly offers numerous advantages, but also introduces new risks and concerns such as network monitoring and security," said Rubin Dhillon, global director of communications product management at GE Intelligent Platforms, in a statement.

Dhillon said that GE's packet processors are built specifically to deal with these issues and offer several advantages over traditional network processors with hardware and software specifically tailored for packet movement, which enables them to perform at multi-gigabit line rates.

Company officials said that the NEI (News - Alert) N-2710 features up to eight 2.5" SAS drives with RAID levels 0/1/5/6/10 for maximum reliability.

The platform includes hot swap hard drives and redundant 870W DC power supplies for high availability. The N-2710 also includes dual 2-port embedded Gigabit Ethernet NIC (News - Alert) with load balancing and failover for increased performance and reliability.

According to company officials, NEI provides global support for the N-2710 server, with the complete solution backed in the field. Furthermore, the N-2710 is a pre-integrated solution that is certified for service provider networks, saving time and money.

"Organizations that rely solely on stateful packet inspection are at far greater risk for application layer attacks than those that use deep packet inspection," said Jeff Hudgins (News - Alert), vice president of marketing for NEI.

Hudgins said that hardware-based solutions with packet processing, such as the N-2710, perform deep packet inspections at wire speed, eliminating the problems that many software-based packet monitors have in keeping up with line rates due to ever increasing networking speeds, and provide unparalleled network protection.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda