Check Point: Now you can run up to 250 virtual security systems on 1 gateway

Check Point Software Technologies Monday unveiled a gateway it says will let businesses radically consolidate the vendor's firewall/VPN, intrusion-prevention and other security products as "virtual systems" on a single appliance.

BACKGROUND: Securing the new data center

As many as 250 of these virtual systems for Web security, threat prevention and remote access could run on a Check Point gateway, wholly compartmentalized from each other if need be, perhaps each managed by a different group within a larger business, each with separate virtual switching and routing for each network segment.

Each would have customized software blades and policies intended to meet specific business needs. Fred Kost, head of product marketing at Check Point, says Check Point Virtual Systems was developed to adapt to increased use by enterprises of cloud-based applications or internal virtualized systems.

It's intended to eliminate "box sprawl," where gateways often "are not even fully utilized," he added, and as such is constructed to be a potential migration path for current Check Point customers.

Check Point Virtual Systems, based on the company's updated 64-bit GAiA operating system, might be used at the edge of the enterprise network or deeper inside for network segments. To be clear, says Kost, Check Point Virtual Systems do not run directly on virtualization platforms such as those from VMware or Microsoft.

The design of the Check Point Virtual Systems, which makes use of load-balancing technology, can be scaled up. Pricing starts at $3,000 for three virtual systems, though would range into tens of thousands of dollars for more extensive numbers of Check Point virtual systems consolidated into a single appliance or server.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.

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