Crossbeam Announces Services Switch
Using the popularity of CheckPoint Software Technologies' (Nasdaq: CHKP) software as bait, startup Crossbeam Systems Inc. hopes to lure service providers and data-center operators to its inaugural hardware platform, a services switch that combines both applications and functions like load-balancing into a single box.
Crossbeam claims its X40 Network Application Concentrator, which is due to ship by December, will let customers deploy network-based services with higher throughput and less administrative overhead than current implementations. While the Linux-based switch is not application-specific, Crossbeam is leveraging the market clout of its partner CheckPoint to generate interest in the X40, part of a soon-to-be crowded market that already includes players like CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) Corona Networks Inc. and Celox Networks (see CoSine Takes Another Tack and Celox Bags $80M Funding Round).
"Having the CheckPoint software is a pretty big attraction," says Mitchell Hryckowian, principal architect for security and infrastructure at application service provider Interliant Inc. (Nasdaq: INIT), which is testing the Crossbeam box. Though other companies are touting such services-on-a-switch, Hryckowian says most use proprietary software, not market-leading programs like CheckPoint.
Throop [sic] Wilder, Crossbeam's vice president of marketing, says the support of CheckPoint sales representatives will help startup Crossbeam leverage its way into larger accounts. Security is also a good starting point in the current down market for capital expenditures, says the Throopster: "Security can be seen as the foundation to the next set of [networked] applications."
Crossbeam plans to show the product at the upcoming Networld+Interop show in Atlanta, as part of the CheckPoint partner pavilion. A typical X40 configured with the CheckPoint software should cost in the range of $65,000, Wilder says. Though Crossbeam does not have any actual customers yet, Wilder says it has "four or five" companies testing the product, including Interliant.
The X40 does not provide switching, routing or other transport-type services, Wilder says, but is instead designed to be installed "right behind, or in front of" routing gear from companies like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), providing a base for applications that can benefit from integrated network functions like load balancing, provisioning, and management.
"We don't want to reinvent the routing or software layers," Wilder says. The company also claims that the X40 can support application throughput at speeds from 400 Mbit/s up to multi-gigabits per second.
- Paul Kapustka, Editor at Large, Light Reading