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Sun Risks Alienating Cisco, Moves into Content Switching
Sun Risks Alienating Cisco, Moves into Content Switching

Sun announced that it's entering the content switch arena. It will base the switch that it plans to introduce later this year, on the Nauticus N2000 Series. Sun acquired Nauticus in a $12 million deal earlier in the year. According to Sun, the switch is to be a load-balancing and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) acceleration switch for use in networking environments.

With this announcement, Sun has evidently decided to push forward with a switch bearing its own name. When Nauticus was purchased, analysts assumed that Sun would integrate Nauticus switches into its servers. Whether or not Sun would produce its own switching devices was unknown.

The Sun-branded switch, company officials said, will be integrated with Sun's management software. The reason for this has to do with the nature of content switches that allows for selective content trafficking. IT departments can save resources by using switches to perform certain jobs, which would ordinarily be processed by the server.

Sun's executive vice president of Network Systems Group, John Fowler, said, "The Nauticus switch allows us to have a classic load balancing switch with much higher performance and security than you would normally see in these products."

He said the speeds at which security monitoring will take place, will prevent any breaches. "With this box…we run security so fast that you can always be secure. So you don't have to worry about your banking site, for example, being spoofed because it's always going to be secure."

The switch, beyond its security offering, provides interoperability between networks. Through a "virtualization" capability, customers can run different networks on one switch. Fowler said, "It has the ability to partition and have a whole bunch of different routing domains or policy domains. This is something that other switches can't do."

News of Sun's decision was met by some analysts with surprise, who feel the company risks alienating long-standing allies like Cisco Systems.

"Sun is not...very much into the network switch business, and they have a lot of friends, partners, and allies that are," said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst with Nashua, NH-based Illuminata. He had been under the impression that Sun would not make this move; as it appears to unduly antagonize companies that Sun is friendly with.

Other analysts glossed over the deal, stating that moves like this are not uncommon throughout the technology sector; and said what Sun really needs to do now is focus on retaining its identity.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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