Check Point upgrades SmartCenter

Goes for scale

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd will tomorrow unveil an upgrade to its firewall/VPN management software designed to greatly simplify policy administration in large deployments.

The aptly named Large Scale Manager is an extension to Check Point's SmartCenter Pro security gateway console that allows up to 1,000 installations of Check Point's Firewall-1/VPN-1 software to be managed from one place. The company plans to extend the software to allow more gateways to be managed in the near future.

Unlike SmartCenter alone, in which IT staff would have to create and deploy security policies for each gateway, LSM allows policy templates to be created and assigned to large numbers of gateways. The gateways pull the policies from the management server, meaning security staff do not have to push them out.

Product marketing manager Sweta Duseja said the extension is aimed at large distributed enterprises that have a star-shape network topology - a central office and hundreds of branches. Vanilla SmartCenter Pro is more suited to smaller deployments, where each branch requires less uniformity and more sophistication in their security policies.

Duseja said the product gives Check Point the scalability lead on its competitors. "Cisco and NetScreen both use 'push' mechanisms, so you have to manage policies at each gateway, even if you're a large franchise," she said, referring to Cisco Systems Inc's PIX firewall and NetScreen Technologies Inc's eponymous offerings.

Additional benefits include the ability to address and log gateway traffic even when using dynamic IP addresses, and integration with other Check Point reporting tools, the firm said. LSM will be available later this month as a free upgrade to existing SmartCenter Pro licensees, or $20,000 for new customers.

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