With an increased market emphasis on private clouds, Check Point Software Technologies has rolled out a new offering that is designed to enable the consolidation of security gateways onto a single appliance or open server. The introduction of Check Point Virtual Systems is expected to simplify security, boost performance and provide enhanced cost control, according to company president Amnon Bar Lev.
"Check Point has had the ability to virtualize firewalls for quite some time," he said. "Now we allow every customer and channel partner to do virtualization not just on a dedicated virtual system, but on every single gateway. This is good if a customer wants to build his own private cloud, and it's also good if the customer has long and robust policies, and he wants to divide them into separate groups."
Using this system, partners can secure multiple network segments by using any combination of Check Point software blades supporting firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, application control, URL filtering, anti-bot, antivirus and identity awareness.
"One of the beautiful things is that the operating system is a hardened version of Red Hat," said Rob White, CEO of FrontBlade, a New York-based Check Point channel partner. "It works quite well as the core construct for private clouds. It's inexpensive, and can also add a lot of new functionality through the use of flexible bundles. We can bundle as much security as the customers are willing to pay for, or as much as their compliance requirements mandate."
The offering is aimed primarily at large enterprises and service providers that have multiple security appliances under separate management and maintenance. The system supports the consolidation of up to 250 virtual systems on a single gateway supported by software blade protections and policies optimized for the needs of the specific customer. MSPs, as well as enterprises that have multiple groups or business units, can conduct management from a single system while at the same time maintaining the required level of separation and security. As many as eight gateways can also be clustered, using the Redwood City, Calif.-based company's Virtual System Load Sharing technology.
Leveraging multicore processors with CoreXL technology, Check Point claims that its new 64-bit GAiA operating system supports more than eight times more concurrent connections than previous versions.
"This will help our channel to provision more gateways more efficiently, as well as to enjoy the benefits of the blades," explained Bar Lev. "It makes security easier to manage, and you can really help your customers simplify their environments and make them more secure."