TippingPoint Device Has Broad Appeal

The 3Com division this week is unveiling the X505, its first integrated security device, which combines TippingPoint&'s intrusion-prevention technology with stateful inspection firewall, IPsec VPN, bandwidth management, Web content filtering and dynamic routing.

The product also will be the first that the security vendor makes available to all VARs through distribution, said Scott Rivers, product manager at Austin, Texas-based TippingPoint. For the first few months, however, the X505 will be available only to authorized TippingPoint partners.

Based on intrusion-prevention technology rather than a firewall, the X505 takes unified threat management to the next level, Rivers said. “The traditional firewall architecture is outdated and simply not good enough,” Rivers said. “You can&'t just close the door, you have to slam it shut.”

TippingPoint&'s new device goes beyond deep packet inspection by inspecting “every single bit of every single packet” without introducing latency, he said. Slated for general availability in December, the X505 is priced at $3,995. At that price point, the X505 isn&'t competitive in the small- business space, but it is a solid midmarket offering that will compete with SonicWall and Cisco Systems in the unified threat management market, said Bob Kerr, executive vice president and CTO of NetSpec, a Newport Beach, Calif., solution provider. “It does everything those products do, but offers a lot more,” he said.

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Up to this point, TippingPoint has been a best-of-breed niche player, Kerr said. “But the X505 has broad universal appeal. It is the perfect answer for remote offices and branch offices of larger companies.”

Broadening awareness of TippingPoint and its products will be good for NetSpec&'s business, even if it means competition from more VARs sourcing the product through distribution, Kerr said.

“I am not worried about them opening up the market on these new products,” he said. “It will give TippingPoint more visibility and that will expand my business.”