Sun Microsystems Inc. and antivirus company Symantec Corp. are releasing a “no hassles” intrusion detection system (IDS) appliance targeted at the enterprise and service provider markets, the two companies announced last month. The iForce IDS Appliance is a 1U rack-mounted hardware appliance based on Sun’s LX50 server platform. The device runs Sun’s enterprise-class Solaris OS x86 operating system and will come outfitted with Symantec’s ManHunt intrusion detection software. The iForce is capable of performing intrusion detection analysis at speeds up to 2Gb per second, according to Sanjay Sharma, security segment manager at Sun.

Wooing the high end

A high-end, software-based IP switch from 3Com Corp. is being tested by four large companies for general release in August as part of the network device maker’s efforts to re-establish itself in the enterprise marketplace. Last month, 3Com CEO Bruce Claflin said the switch will scale to hundreds of thousands of users, compared with the hundreds supported by the company’s existing NBX line. The software switch, or “softswitch,” should help Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com woo back enterprise customers that were abandoned three years ago, Claflin said. 3Com declined to identify the companies testing the switch.

XP gets a boost

Microsoft Corp. in April added support for a new set of wireless LAN security specifications to Windows XP. At press time, WLAN hardware that uses the same specs was also expected from several vendors last month. Microsoft said software that complies with the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security mechanisms can be downloaded from its Web site for free. WPA, which was developed by Microsoft and other vendors under the auspices of the Wi-Fi Alliance trade group, will replace the older and less-secure Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security standard that XP now supports. Companies that have said they plan to support WPA include Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proxim Inc.

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