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The security appliance is dead – report

Long live the security services switch

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Yankee Group is advising clients to stop buying security appliances and to consider investing in security switches instead.

Two Yankee Group reports, Security Services Switches Mark the End of Security Appliances, and Security Service Switches to Rule the Day: Security Appliances are Dead!, declare the end of the security appliance market and the ushering in of security service switches. The US analyst firm predicts 25 per cent of Fortune 100 companies by the end of this year will have deployed SS switches to protect their critical communications assets.

So what the heck is a security services switch? We'll let Yankee provide a definition.

Security services switch have three basic components: performance, security services, and management. "The components are part of a switching architecture that can be located on separate blades, but must be provided in a single rack-mountable configuration collapsed into the same network-based chassis," Yankee explains.

"The combination of these three components distinguishes SS switches from rudimentary security appliances and positions them as the intrusion-prevention platforms of choice for enterprises over the next three to five years," said Matthew Kovar, Yankee Group Security Solutions & Services director.

"SS switches are significantly superior to security appliances because they are designed to enhance security performance, whereas security appliances are optimised for network performance, specific to a particular host and application."

According to Kovar, incumbent network equipment vendors, "including Cisco, Alcatel, Nokia, Siemens, and Ericsson, will acquire SS switch vendors by the end of 2004".

This prediction seems reasonable in the case of Cisco but less likely for, say, Alcatel and Ericsson, two firms in the throes of Permanent Reorganisation. ®

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