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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Nokia Internet Communications Inc, the Nokia Corp internet appliance subsidiary, will today take the wraps off an interoperability certification program for security appliances it has been quietly operating for the last seven months, and will reveal the first batch of "hand-picked" partners.

The aim of the program is to provide customers with a stamp of approval that third-party software works with Nokia's popular firewalls. Software developers taking part in the program will port their software to Nokia's IPSO operating system, and make it available either on standalone Nokia boxes or bundled with Nokia firewalls appliances.

"We will sell more boxes because of this program, our customers will save more time because of this program, and our partners will sell more software because of this program," said Nokia VP of product management Dan MacDonald. He added: "We will selectively invite partners based on market demand. It's a hand-picked scenario, it's not open."

Initial partners come from the field of network management, content filtering and firewall management software. Named companies in the final stages of approval include: HP (for OpenView) BMC Software, Concord Communications, FishNet, OpenService, Permeo, SurfControl, and Tripwire.

Nokia's firewall appliances use the company's proprietary IPSO operating system, a "hardened" version of the open-source FreeBSD OS. Alliance partners will be given a software development kit that exposes ISPO APIs, to allow partners to port their software to the operating system and run on Nokia boxes without compromising security.

Nokia firewalls actually run Check Point Software Technologies Ltd's popular Firewall-1/VPN-1 firewall software. As such, companies already certified under Check Point's OPSEC interoperability program will have the best chance of getting "Nokia OK" validation, MacDonald said, although OPSEC is not required.

© ComputerWire

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