Cisco Systems Inc.
will be offering a software version of Arbor Networks Inc.'s Peakflow SP Threat Management System on CRS core routers, the companies plan to announce Tuesday.
The software, meant to mitigate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, will sit on Cisco's Carrier Grade Service Engine -- a line card full of processors and memory for running applications.
Among other things, this could free up a router port that would otherwise send traffic to a security appliance or a traffic-scrubbing center, says Carlos Morales, head of Arbor's global systems engineering and sales operations.
The deal mirrors one that Arbor struck in early 2012 to put security on the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router.
Why this matters
Cisco had a DDoS product line, Cisco Guard, that it abandoned a few years ago. (It still offers anti-DDoS cards for non-core routers like the Catalyst 6500.) DDoS has remained a big issue, so it's not so odd for Cisco to want to re-fill that hole.
Cut forward to today, though, and Cisco is making noise about trying to become No. 1 in the security market, an effort being led by Senior Vice President Chris Young, formerly of VMware Inc. and RSA Security Inc.
That might not fully match with the idea of using someone else's technology, but Arbor is an obvious choice in some ways. Cisco was an initial investor in the company, and the two have remained close friends all along, Morales says.
Of course, Arbor still sees other people. (See AlcaLu & Arbor Open Test Lab.)
â€” Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading