News Release

Cisco Redefines Performance With New Firewall and VPN Solutions

SAN JOSE, Calif, Dec. 4, 2000 - Delivering on its Cisco SAFE
Dec 04, 2000

SAN JOSE, Calif, Dec. 4, 2000 - Delivering on its Cisco SAFE blueprint for secure e-Business and raising the bar on network security performance, Cisco Systems, Inc., the leader in securing the Internet economy, today announced several high-end additions to its market-leading Cisco Secure PIX. Firewall and VPN router families.

The announcement underscores Cisco's security strategy, through its Cisco SAFE blueprint, to provide organizations with the most scalable, flexible and comprehensive method of securely, reliably and cost-effectively competing in e-Business today.

Specific product announcements include:
  • Cisco's first gigabit firewall, the Cisco Secure PIX Firewall 535. Designed for very large enterprise and service provider customers, the PIX 535 is a carrier-class firewall providing high levels of network security and reliability with aggregate throughput of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and up to 500,000 concurrent connections.

  • The Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN Accelerator Card (VAC), a hardware-based IPsec accelerator that significantly improves virtual private network performance for the market-leading Cisco Secure PIX Firewall family. Supporting as many as 2,000 tunnels and providing 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) of 168-bit 3DES throughput, the VAC makes the PIX firewall an ideal VPN gateway for many high-end remote access and site-to-site deployments.

  • Cisco 7140 VPN routers and Cisco 7200 series routers now support two VPN Services Accelerator cards, increasing aggregate encryption throughput to 140Mbps while supporting up to 3,000 concurrent connections.

"With the continued expansion of the Internet economy, it's clear that customers are going to need robust security solutions that go way beyond anything most people imagined in terms of performance," said Jeff Wilson, Executive Director of Infonetics Research. "Gigabit firewalls are quickly becoming a required element of e-business data center infrastructure, which represents a rapidly expanding revenue opportunity for networking vendors. With the announcement of the PIX 535, Cisco is taking a bold step towards fulfilling customer needs in the next-generation data center."

The PIX 535 Firewall

As the most powerful firewall in Cisco's product portfolio, the PIX 535 will command attention based on its performance alone. Yet, it's also very cost effective. Price/performance for an entry level PIX 535 is $60 per Mbps of throughput, which is about 45 percent less than the nearest competing firewall, estimated at $109 per Mbps of throughput.

The PIX 535 also offers customers the utmost in performance, security and reliability. It supports up to 1 GB of RAM, eight Gigabit Ethernet or 10/100 Fast Ethernet interfaces, and a VPN Accelerator Card. Customers can opt to fail-over to a hot-standby, redundant PIX or to add a redundant, hot swappable power supply.

In addition, the PIX 535 is a purpose-built firewall appliance that offers an unprecedented level of protection. It is tightly integrated with the PIX Operating System (OS), which is a proprietary, hardened system that eliminates security holes and performance degradation. This hardened OS makes PIX firewalls easier to deploy and less costly to manage than software-based firewalls.

PIX firewalls, including the PIX 506, 515, 520, 520 and 535, are also ideal options for customers looking to use a single, perimeter appliance to perform both firewall and VPN functions.

The PIX VPN Accelerator Card

PIX customers can achieve the highest levels of VPN performance and security by adding a Cisco Secure PIX Firewall VPN Accelerator Card. Easily implemented, VACs are plug-and-play devices that are automatically detected once installed in a PIX firewall PCI slot.

The VAC provides customers with platform scalability and security while working seamlessly with services necessary for successful VPN deployments, including encryption, tunneling and firewalling. The VAC also handles a variety of other IPsec-related tasks, including hashing, key exchange and storage of security associations, freeing the PIX main processor and memory of most IPsec tasks to ensure continued high performance for other perimeter security functions, such as access control and intrusion detection.

Cisco Router Enhancements

The ability to implement multiple VPN Services Accelerator cards in the Cisco 7100 and 7200 routers is an integral part of the secure connectivity module of the Cisco SAFE blueprint. Customers can significantly enhance VPN performance and capabilities by installing an Integrated Service Adapter (ISA) and Integrated Service Module (ISM) in a Cisco 7100 VPN series router or two ISA cards in a 7200 series router. ISA and ISM cards provide high performance, hardware-assisted tunneling and encryption services suitable for site-to-site and remote access VPN environments. The Cisco 7100 is purpose-built for VPN-centric environments with integrated local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) capabilities. The Cisco 7200 series multi-service router is designed for hybrid private and VPN environments where multiple concurrent services such as high-density WAN aggregation, data center connectivity and security are required. It provides the performance, port density and security services necessary for multi-use environments.

Pricing and availability

The Cisco Secure PIX Firewall 535 will be available in mid-December at a starting price of $60,000 USD. The VPN Accelerator Card will also be available in mid-December for $7,500 USD.