Secure Computing, Riverbed Team For Secure WAN Optimization

Secure Computing, based in San Jose, Calif., makes enterprise gateway security solutions, while Riverbed offers wide-area data services (WDS) tools. The partnership, the companies said, will offer data acceleration in the enterprise while adding a layer of protection to lock down information and infrastructure from potential security threats.

According to Secure Computing, the partnership will be two-phased. First, the vendors will jointly offer solutions through select channel partners to address both WDS and Web security for companies that want to boost application performance on the WAN and secure their Internet gateways. The solutions will combine Riverbed's Steelhead appliances and Steelhead Mobile software for application acceleration, bandwidth optimization and QoS and Secure Computing's Secure Web, formerly known as Webwasher, for Web security protection such as anti-malware, reputation based URL filtering and anti-spam.

Phase two will involve Secure Computing's Secure SnapGear firewall technology, its SmartFilter reputation-based Web filtering and its TrustedSource global reputation based anti-spam technology being offered as a software module that can run on Riverbed's RiOS Services Platform (RSP). Secure Computing said running on RSP ties together the two vendors' solutions into a single hardware platform, the Steelhead appliance. The mash-up lets users deliver virtualized edge services for branch offices.

Companies that use the phase one bundling now will be able to migrate to the phase two solution in the future. According to both vendors, the multi-product bundle should be available through the channel in early May, and Secure Computing's software module for the RSP is scheduled for availability early next year.

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Resellers said the partnership brings together two technologies that hare hot on the market right now.

"We've been seeing the growing demand for both WDS and gateway security in the market," said James Volpe, president of Corsa Network Technologies, a Campbell, Calif.-based solution provider in a statement. "With more and more data being shared within organizations and the ever expanding Web 2.0- threat, companies need to optimize their bandwidth utilization while also ensuring that malicious content isn't being propagated."

Volpe added that the Secure Computing/Riverbed partnership gives him the ability to offer customers one solution tying together two best-of-breed technologies, meaning customers don't have to rely on point solutions or settle for second-tier products.

Secure Computing senior vice president of marketing, Atri Chatterjee, said integrating security functions into tools like WAN optimization can simplify management and reduce the hardware footprint. Adding a new level of security two wide-area data services can also ready the network for whatever threats Web 2.0 will bring to bear.

"With the emergence of Web 2.0, there's been a dramatic increase in malware, requiring companies to thoroughly secure every connection to the Internet," Chatterjee said. "Wrapping security into other required functionalities like WAN optimization and simplifying their management is a concept we think customers will quickly embrace."

Alan Saldich, vice president of product marketing and alliances for Riverbed, agreed.

"Companies have experienced a rapid increase in network traffic as well as increases in file sizes and rich content, and that has negatively impacted the response times to of business-critical applications," he said. "In addition to accelerating access to these applications, it is a logical extension to now enable third-party vendors, such as Secure Computing, to leverage Steelhead appliance deployments to offer best-of-breed solutions and services so our customers can reduce their costs, management headaches and IT footprint."