SonicWall Gives Firewall Switch Some Juice

The 24-port Pro 1260 Enhanced, unveiled at CMP Media's XChange Solution Provider conference in New Orleans, is essentially a managed Layer 2 switch, facilitating a technology that enables administrators to enforce different security policies for up to two dozen independent users. The appliance also can be configured to secure any combination of internal workgroups, public servers, WANs and wireless access using SonicWall's Secure Wireless solution, according to John Keenan, director of East Coast sales at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.

"However they want to deploy it, this is a great way for solution providers to set up a managed service," Keenan said. "On the customer side, they can use [the Pro 1260 Enhanced] to control a network in-house or on a managed basis."

The Pro 1260 Enhanced's management capabilities are delivered through the SonicWall PortShield architecture in the SonicOS Enhanced operating system. PortShield provides capabilities similar to those of a virtual LAN. The technology allows all 24 ports on the Pro 1260 Enhanced to be independently configured into custom security zones, each with its own "virtual firewall" capability. That ensures the ports are secured from the Internet as well as from other devices on the LAN, Keenan said.

"A small business could have a separate policy for every user," he said.

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An optional port on the Pro 1260 Enhanced also can be configured as a demilitarized zone for public-facing servers or Internet resources such as a wireless LAN. The firewall, too, integrates gateway antivirus, antispyware and intrusion-prevention support.

Pricing for the Pro 1260 Enhanced, available now, starts at less than $2,000.