Nokia Raises Security Bar For High-End Firewalls

The firewalls,the Nokia IP2250 and Nokia IP1220,are tightly integrated with Check Point's VPN-1/FireWall-1 Secure XL 2.1 and boast Nokia's newest IPSO 3.8 secure operating system. Both appliances are expected to be available to channel partners by June 1.

Dan Reis, manager of platform product marketing, said the boxes represent Nokia's latest attempt to equip channel partners with a broad array of products that compete in price with appliances from more entrenched vendors such as Cisco Systems, Crossbeam and Netscreen.



Top five hardware/software firewall vendors

>> 1. Cisco Systems
>> 2. Check Point
>> 3. Netscreen>> 4. Nokia
>> 5. Nortel
Note: Based on worldwide revenue through end of 2003
Source: Infonetics Research

"If you look at the dollars spent per megabit of throughput, we now offer the best appliances in the industry," he said. "The idea is to enable our resellers to enter the premium market with our products and be competitive."

The Nokia IP2250 marks new territory for the Mountain View, Calif., vendor as the first Nokia firewall to feature a diskless Network Processor-based platform, Reis said. The device was designed for carriers and large enterprises, offering up to 36 10/100 Ethernet ports or a mix of 10/100 and up to eight 1,000-Mbps Ethernet ports with optional VPN acceleration for high-speed VPN.

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The Nokia IP1220, on the other hand, was designed as a highly scalable solution for midsize to large enterprises. With the help of a high-speed encryption accelerator card, it can connect a multitude of network segments for infrastructures with up to 20 10/100 Ethernet connections or eight 1,000-Mbps Ethernet connections, Reis said.

The new products had some Nokia solution providers excited. "As the need for faster firewalls increases, these appliances should help VARs strengthen relationships with existing customers and land new ones," said Gary Fish, CEO of Fishnet Security, Kansas City, Mo.

Others, however, weren't convinced that the products were much better than the competition.

"The 2250 is exciting, but the architecture of the boxes still isn't superior to the [Crossbeam C10]," said Joseph Dell, CTO at Vigilar, Atlanta. "Network processing lets you do more with less, but the system has to be able to take full advantage of it, and it is yet to be seen whether [the] Nokia [platform can]."

The Nokia IP2250 is list-priced at $80,000, while the Nokia IP1220 is listed at $33,000.