Check Point gets an Intel boost

Trends and technologies that affect the way government does IT

File this under 'we'll believe it when we see it, and we hope to see it soon.' Last week, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. of Redwood City, Calif., ( published some internal test results that should have network security pros scrambling for test units. The company, which makes server-based security software, said it had run its VPN-1 Power solution on an Intel dual-core Xeon 5100-based server and achieved 10 Gbps of throughput. This is potentially significant because that kind of throughput in a virtual private network is usually reserved for purpose-built systems with advanced co-processors.

Bill Jensen, Check Point's product marketing manager, told GCN before the announcement that the company hit 430 Mbps with the intrusion prevention functionality turned on, and 3.2 Gbps with its Advanced Encryption Standard-based IPSec module running. 'Basically, we've seen increased demand for multifunction gateways,' Jensen said. 'We're doing this with no special hardware and no optimized code.'

Back in June, Intel began touting the speed bump it was seeing from its new Xeon 5100 line, previously codenamed 'Woodcrest' [,]. Check Point said its 10-Gbps firewall throughput was twice what it achieved with prior Xeon processors. Check Point is one of those developers who have probably been eager for dual-core processors to go mainstream: Its SecureXL framework of interfaces and software modules was designed with an eye toward multi-CPU, multithreaded systems, Jensen said.

While Check Point's software isn't tied to Intel chips'it will also work with servers based on Advanced Micro Devices chips'Jensen couldn't say what kind of performance users might get from the latest AMD Opteron-based servers. We'd suggest you try it yourself. Either way, if real-world performance approximates what Check Point says it's seen, we could be talking about a new generation of low-cost, high-performance security platforms.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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