Network managers who prefer to buy best of breed security solutions have more choice when buying a platform.

Crossbeam Systems Inc. has expanded its X-series line of unified threat management chassis for large enterprises and carriers to include four more models to appeal to a wider range of customers, one of which has up to 150 Gigabits per second throughput.

In addition, it has added more powerful blades with up to 12 Intel cores.

Essentially, Crossbeam makes chassis and blades and gives customers the choice of buying software from a variety of well-known partners to run on them, managed by its XOS operating system. The newest is McAfee Inc.’s enterprise firewall.

Others include IBM Corp.’s Internet Security System (ISS), Check Point Software’s Security Gateway, firewall and intrusion prevention; Trend Micro’s Interscan e-mail and Web gateways; Websense’s Security Suite and others.

Jim Freeze, Crossbeam’s chief marketing officer, said the company’s approach allows enterprises and carriers to more easily consolidate their security appliances than by having separate devices for malware, firewalls and Web protection.

Separate appliances have less processing power than a blade approach, he said. Crossbeam’s newest and biggest chassis can hold up to 10 blades, each with 12 cores for a total of 120 processors, he said.

Until recently, the company had two chassis: The seven-slot X45, with throughput of up to 20 Gbps, and the 14-slot X80.

Replacing them this quarter are:

–the four-slot X20 for up to two applications, with 5 Gbps throughput;

–the four-slot X30 for up to two applications, with 10 Gbps throughput;

–the seven-slot X60 for up to five applications, with 80 Gbps throughput;

–and the 10-slot X80s for up to 10 applications, with 150 Gbps throughput.

Chassis can also be upgraded. For example, the X20 or X30 can be converted into an X80 with an upgrade kit.

Pricing wasn’t announced.

The company also said its current four and eight core application processing modules will be joined by a 12-core blade using Intel’s Westmere chipset.

Some network and IT managers might prefer to buy security platforms from one vendor, on the theory that one place to run to for support has advantages. But Freeze said most Crossbeam’s partners are trained to support its hardware as well as their own software.

The X-series also integrates with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s OpenView Network Node Manager.

In Canada a number of system integrators handle Crossbeam products including MTS Allstream, Bell Canada, the Herjavec Group, and Calgary’s Vcura Inc.

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