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Broadcom develops GbE switches for network security

Posted: 25 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Broadcom  Gigabit Ethernet switches  network security  StrataXGS III  network admission control 

Broadcom Corp. has announced a new generation of multi-layer Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches designed to improve enterprise network security through a highly scalable and easy-to-manage security infrastructure. This latest generation of Broadcom StrataXGS III GbE switches features BroadShield security technology, which enables network admission control (NAC) and supports Microsoft's Network Access Protection policy enforcement technology to achieve dramatically improved network security and manageability when compared to existing solutions.

Network security is one of the top concerns for enterprise IT network managers, given the prevalence of hacking, malware and inside security threats, as well as, the need to comply with government regulations. It is a challenge to implement security profiles for one user, let alone an enterprise network with hundreds, or thousands, of users. Additionally, IT professionals prefer standards-based solutions (versus proprietary solutions) to ensure interoperability between multiple hardware and software vendors. As a result, next-generation switching solutions must keep pace with the ever changing security threats in enterprise networks, and the underlying security infrastructure must be cost-effective, as well as easier to implement and manage.

Announced today is the Broadcom StrataXGS III BCM56510 series of multi- layer GbE switches, a follow-on series to the company's widely deployed BCM56500 series. All products in the BCM56510 series are equipped with BroadShield security technology, a multi-layered security framework that includes a robust set of standards-based features to dramatically improve security while delivering unmatched scalability. The key security features include standards-based authentication, user quarantine, denial of service (DoS) attack prevention, 'man in the middle' attack prevention, spoofing prevention, and support for advanced access control lists (ACLs).

Through BroadShield technology, Broadcom's new BCM56510 series of GbE switches is designed to support Microsoft Network Access Protection. Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server, codenamed "Longhorn" operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies. Microsoft's Network Access Protection technology is publicly available with trial versions of Windows Vista, and available to select partners and customers with Beta 2 of the future version of Windows Server, codename "Longhorn."

"Standardisation of network security is a topic that needs to be addressed, pairing the hardware at the chip level with the software that runs the network," said Mike Schutz, Group Product Manager—Security and Access, at Microsoft Corp.

The BCM56510 series, with BroadShield technology, also enables NAC, which governs how security policies are enforced on any device on the network with the goal of minimising the damage from emerging security threats. IT managers employing NAC have the ability to control network access for any client that accesses the network (for example, a PC, PDA or other end-point device), granting the appropriate level of access based on the classification of the end-point device.

Broadcom's BroadShield security technology is a multi-layer security framework that enables a scalable network security architecture with simplified network management. BroadShield utilises a unique flow-based user- classification framework that allows IT managers to enforce secure policies on a packet-by-packet basis without complicated administration of a large numbers of rules. The overriding benefit is the ease at which these secure profiles are implemented and proliferated through the network, regardless of the scale of the user base.

The Broadcom StrataXGS III BCM56510 series (BCM56510, BCM56511, BCM56512, BCM56513 and BCM56514) is now sampling to early access customers. The StrataXGS III family features a mature, widely adopted software API, which is common across the entire product line and supported by multiple third-party software vendors. BCM56510 series reference designs are available to help speed time-to-market and include software, schematics, layout files and related documentation. Product pricing is available upon request.

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