Cisco Guards Security

Under the new program, which will launch formally in January, solution providers receive rapid delivery of the Cisco Guard XT Defender solution from Comstor to help customers fight off distributed denial of service attacks.

According to Alex Thurber, director of security and wireless for worldwide channels at Cisco, San Jose, Calif., the Rapid Response program will assist customers in dealing with "wartime" situations in which they need new firewalls fast.

"The point is that what we're doing is on a much faster time line than usual," Thurber said. "The whole idea behind this is emergency response."

While distributor deals often take months to fulfill, Thurber said this program was set up to guarantee order fulfillment in less than one day.

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Duncan Potter, vice president of worldwide marketing at Westcon, added that because Comstor's headquarters in Chantilly, Va., is just minutes from Dulles International Airport, the distributor guarantees shipping within two hours of an emergency call. Once the Guard XT Defender arrives at an airport near a customer's site, a solution provider picks it up, configures it, installs it and builds services around it.

"If we can help our customers react to security problems right away, it gives us an advantage over our competitors," said Jay Kirby, vice president of sales at Troubadour, a Cisco solution provider based in Houston.

Potter did not provide pricing for the service but said zero-day shipping costs would be factored into the base equipment price.

Thurber said Comstor currently is the only distributor participating in the program and Cisco has no plans at this time to include other distributors.

Cisco acquired the technology on which the Guard XT Defender solution is built with the acquisition of Riverhead Networks in April 2004.