Sonic security appliances do job with little management

Sonic Systems Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., has introduced a network security appliance
that extends its SonicWall products to as many as 1,000 users on enterprise networks.

The SonicWall hardware security devices supply firewall services, virtual private
networks, content filtering and applet blocking on small to midsize networks.

The SonicWall Pro appliance will serve branch offices and larger single-site networks
that cannot afford a full-time firewall manager.

Sonic president and chief executive officer Sreekanth Ravi said software firewalls
running under Microsoft Windows NT or Unix usually need experienced, full-time
administrators. He said the SonicWall appliances sacrifice some flexibility but require
little management.

The SonicWall/10, /50, Plus and Plus DMZ models are black boxes for networks with up to
100 users. The Pro is a 19-inch, rackmounted chassis with a built-in power supply and
three 10/100-Mbps auto-switching Fast Ethernet ports for larger networks.

The SonicWall Pro does stateful packet inspection and is preconfigured to detect common
denial-of-service attacks. It can set up IPSec-compliant virtual private networks with
168-bit Triple Data Encryption Standard encryption. It also can do 56-bit DES and 56-bit
ARCFour encryption, and it filters content to control user access to Web sites.

Filtering rules can apply to any of 12 site categories, to a list of 60,000 uniform
resource locators that is updated weekly, or to keyword blocking in the URL. It also can
block ActiveX and Java applets and cookies.

The Pro has a 233-MHz StrongArm RISC microprocessor and the lightweight IxWorks
operating system from WindRiver Systems Inc. of Alameda, Calif. Because it is a diskless,
dedicated device, the Pro runs two to 10 times faster than conventional hardware
firewalls, Ravi said.

SonicWall Pro costs $2,995 for an unlimited number of users.

Contact Sonic at 800-237-8931. 

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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