Nortel Networks Corp. announced Tuesday a system designed to increase performance in network security by enabling faster processing of information requiring security checks.

The company also announced an alliance program intended to allow security products from multiple vendors to be incorporated into one system.

Nortel’s Alteon Security Cluster groups security devices together and enables them to be managed as one, the company says. This allows secure networks to be operated more easily and improves processing compared to disparate, stand-alone devices, Nortel claims.

Alteon Security Cluster is designed to deliver multi-gigabit-per-second acceleration of security applications. It consists of Alteon Web Switches, Alteon Security Appliances, and software that accelerate a variety of security applications.

The system identifies which information requires security processing and the type of security check, and directs those sessions from the traffic flow to the appropriate security application.

The alliance program is intended to enable security products from multiple vendors to run on purpose-built appliances. Internet Security Systems, for example, plans to provide its intrusion detection technology with Nortel’s security products, such as Contivity VPN Switch, Shasta 5000 Broadband Service Node, Alteon SSL Accelerator, Alteon Web Switches, Alteon Switched Firewall, and Alteon Security Cluster.

The Alteon Security Cluster is available now.

Separately, Nortel announced that IBM Corp. has deployed Nortel’s Contivity VPN Switch to provide secure extranet access for software developers. Contivity will enable encrypted communications between developer sites and IBM’s Solution Partnership Centers, Nortel says.

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