Cisco Systems Inc. has introduced new products that the firm says present improved security in converged networks. The PIX 506E and 515E firewall platforms offer up to two and a half times more throughput than competing products thanks to greater onboard processing power. Cisco also unveiled a new version of its firewall operating system, PIX OS 6.2, which employs the PPP over Ethernet protocol and dual network address translation (NAT) for simplified network integration. It supports port address translation (PAT) services for session initiation protocol (SIP) and H.323v2 protocols. Cisco says the new OS and firewall platforms are part of its SAFE Blueprint, a set of guidelines for creating secure networks. The PIX 506E is priced at US$2,712 and the PIX 515E is US$5,592. Both are available now. The operating system is free for customers with Cisco SMARTnet contracts and will be available by the end of this month. For more information consult the company’s Canadian Web site at

Raritan Computer Inc., a keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) switch manufacturer from Somerset, N.J., earlier this month announced two new switching units. The Paragon two-user 42 port Matrix Switching Unit (UMT242) and the Paragon four-user 42 port MSU (UMT442) join the eight-user 32 port MSU Raritan already sells to provide greater flexibility in deployment. Each of the two new MSUs offer two-user or four-user control over 42 devices. Raritan suggests mixing and matching its products to design a server control centre for as many ports as required. The latest MSUs come in a space-saving 1U form factor and, like the 8-user, support Raritan’s management products such as the Z-Series and MasterConsole MXU2 for high-density server access, ConsoleSwitch SCS232 for serial device access and TeleReach, which offers remote IP access. The UMT242 is priced at US$3,000 and the UMT442 lists for US$4,500. For more information see the company’s Web site at