SAN JOSE, Calif., February 13, 2002 - Cisco Systems, the leader in networking for the Internet, today announced the availability of the PIX 506E and 515E platforms providing enhanced performance for the popular PIX 506 and 515 Firewall platforms, version 6.2 of the PIX Firewall Operating System (OS), and availability of the SAFE Blueprint for IP telephony. These new enhancements provide customers with network security and VPN performance requirements for next-generation, converged network deployments.
This announcement extends Cisco's technical and market innovation in the security and VPN market and further enhances SAFE, a flexible, dynamic blueprint for security and VPN networks. SAFE is based on Cisco AVVID -- the Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data -- enabling businesses to maximize security and successfully take advantage of e-Business and compete in the Internet economy. More information is available at http://www.cisco.com/go/safe.
New Enhancements to Cisco's Market-Leading PIX Firewall FamilyThe new PIX 506E and 515E Firewall platforms provide customers with enhanced capabilities designed for optimized security and VPN performance. According to Cisco's own internal lab tests, the new Cisco PIX 506E and 515E Firewalls feature extra processing power resulting in up to two and a half times increase in firewall throughput. The addition of integrated hardware-based VPN acceleration in select PIX 515E Firewall models offers high-performance VPN functionality, and simultaneously frees system resources for other critical security functions.
"Our company's network infrastructure demands industry-leading security and VPN solutions to support our evolving, client-driven business requirements," said Bill Townsend, network engineer at Lockwood Greene, a global engineering and construction leader (www.lg.com). "The new enhancements to the PIX 506 and 515 Firewalls address these requirements, providing the integrated high-performance security and VPN acceleration capabilities necessary for our current business needs."
Cisco also introduced today version 6.2 of its PIX Operating System (OS), offering customers significant new enhancements for small office/home office (SOHO) and enterprise-size networks, along with new Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and multimedia support.
The PIX OS version 6.2 enables highly-scalable VPN deployments and, with new features such as PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE) protocol, improved Internet Service Provider (ISP) compatibility in SOHO networks. PIX firewalls may now act as hardware-based VPN clients, dramatically simplifying the management of large-scale VPN deployments for small and remote office environments. Utilizing the same unified VPN client framework capabilities found in other Cisco VPN solutions, PIX Firewalls dynamically download policies as VPN tunnels are established, ensuring up-to-date remote access security policy deployment.
PIX OS version 6.2 also offers new enhancements for enterprise-scale firewall deployments. To ease integration of existing networks, Bi-directional, or dual Network Address Translation (NAT) simplifies the integration of two existing networks that utilize overlapping IP address spaces. New LAN-based failover functionality extends the PIX Firewall's stateful resiliency support, providing transparent, non-disruptive failover capabilities, while overcoming the distance limitations of many high-availability firewall solutions. Support for third party URL filtering services has been extended with support of N2H2, a leading provider of Internet filtering solutions and a member of the Cisco AVVID Partner Program. PIX administration has also been enhanced through tighter integration with the Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) enabling multiple, customized levels of administrative access. New object grouping features also simplify administration allowing network resources and services to be structured into logical groups thus streamlining network access control policies.
PIX OS version 6.2 also builds upon the rich base of IP telephony and multimedia services currently delivered in the PIX Firewall Family. New features include Port Address Translation (PAT) services for Session Initiative Protocol (SIP) and H.323v2 protocols, and several DHCP options for seamless communication with Cisco IP Phone and Cisco IP SoftPhone product offerings. Stub Multicast Routing support allows customers to take advantage of IP multicast's bandwidth-conserving technology, while securely deploying popular streaming multimedia applications such as video conferencing and e-learning. In addition, support for popular Internet-ready applications such as Microsoft NetMeeting has been enhanced with support for Internet Locator Service (ILS) directory. In combination, these new PIX Firewall OS features offer unparalleled scalability, and support of multi-site deployments of converged voice and data networks. More information is available at http://www.cisco.com/go/pix.
New SAFE Blueprint for IP TelephonyThe new SAFE Blueprint for IP telephony extends Cisco's innovative "defense in depth" approach to securing converged voice and data network environments, recommending best practices based on Cisco's extensive IP telephony and network security expertise. It is one of several blueprints that provide customers with comprehensive guidelines for integrating security solutions throughout the network infrastructure, and are designed for different types of network sizes and next-generation technologies, such as IP telephony and wireless.
"Cisco is committed to delivering integrated network protection by offering best-in-class security products and services," said Richard Palmer, vice president and general manager of Cisco's VPN and Security Services group "The significant enhancements made to Cisco's market-leading PIX Firewall family, and the availability of the SAFE Blueprint for IP telephony demonstrate this commitment, offering customers a migration path to secure, cost-effective converged network environments."