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A10 Enters DDOS Protection Market

Carol Wilson
1/14/2014
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A10 Networks' move into larger-scale protection against distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks is likely an indication of increased competition in a market space that is becoming more critical as network attacks get more diverse and larger. (See A10 Tackles Network-Wide DDoS Attacks .)

A10 Networks Inc. is known for its application delivery controller, which the company says has been deployed by the top four Japanese service providers, three of the four biggest US wireless carriers, and seven of the top 10 US cable providers. But its new Thunder TPS line moves the company directly into the security field, an area it first addressed last year. (See A10 Networks Adds Security Features.)

Promising to outdo the security stalwarts Arbor Networks and Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR), A10's Thunder TPS series is built on its Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) platform and is promising up to 155 Gbit/s of throughput on a single rack-unit appliance, which it says can help network operators and enterprises cope with the growing size of DDoS attacks.

Jason Matlof, A10's vice president of marketing, told us the new gear is designed to sit at the routing edge of an enterprise network -- where connectivity starts -- or at the perimeter peering points of a service provider network. The Thunder ADC DDOS sits in line and is able to address application-specific DDOS attacks, while the Thunder TPS provides networkwide protection against the type of DDOS attacks that flood networks with traffic.

Lawrence Orans, research director at Gartner Inc. , told us A10 is addressing a growing need, particularly in the service provider market, and there is definitely a need for hybrid approaches that address both types of attacks. However, he also said most enterprises are looking for security services, and most service providers are expecting their security vendor to provide rock-solid support when things go wrong, such as when a major attack occurs or there is a network outage.

Matlof said that by designing a system that is scalable (like the Thunder TPS), A10 expects to address both sides of the market. That includes the cloud-based services that have sprung up to address the DDoS attacks that flood network pipes and the enterprise appliances needed to thwart attacks that target applications.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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pdonegan67
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pdonegan67,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/15/2014 | 10:47:07 AM
Re: Pursuit of security outcomes
These days scalability does indeed have to be "massive" in a lot of cases. But give it a year or two and I expect this will give way to a new requirement for scalability to be humungous, whopping or even gargantuan. We could be looking at a requirement for positively elephantine by 2016.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/15/2014 | 10:35:21 AM
Re: Pursuit of security outcomes
That makes sense, thanks. A10 is promoting its new solutions as much more scalable than what exists today - will massive scalability be one of the competitive factors?
pdonegan67
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pdonegan67,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/15/2014 | 10:32:24 AM
Re: Pursuit of security outcomes
No two carriers have the same installed base, security objectives or broader network startegy. Hence a lot of options is what the market requires.

And many (though not all) parts of the security solution market are increasingly SW-oriented or virtualizable, hence relatively high margin, so the market can withstand a lot of different players.
Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/15/2014 | 10:22:42 AM
Re: Pursuit of security outcomes
So Patrick, do we end up with a lot of different types of security devices or approaches to providing security? Is that a good thing - lots of options for carriers and enterprises - or is there a risk of market confusion?

Or am I just missing the point?
pdonegan67
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pdonegan67,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/15/2014 | 6:06:56 AM
Pursuit of security outcomes
More and more risk for carriers and enterprises, less and less willingness to spend on dedicated appliances. A lot of vendors are taking their existing portfolios and evolving them them to achieve security outcomes. A growing trend.
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