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

tjs 12/4/2012 | 7:53:39 PM
re: Crossbeam Announces Services Switch A disclaimer. I am not involved with any of these companies.

Managed firewall, intrusion detection, OC12c + rates and a linux development environment all sound like a winning proposition to me. Will the price come down ?, sure. Will hosting companies pay big money to keep landsend.com or fidelity.com up in the next DDoS storm ?.

In a heartbeat.

If Cosine or Celox go after this space (and try to jam checkpoint into their routing data plane) they will fall into the same god awful mess Bay did when they put checkpoint in their routers.

Upside_again 12/4/2012 | 7:53:54 PM
re: Crossbeam Announces Services Switch
Based on your direct plugs its clear where
you get your paycheck.

Looks like both Co's are trying to win a sad race
on what appears to be an all out checkpoint blitz
to managed hardware partners. Gil Swed will play this to the hilt. However, both are lauding thier still very expensive and complex propositons
to a market that is not accepting "big Iron". We all know the SP's can't afford "additional and extravagant" higher priced equipment such as both of these companies (plus celox and corona), as SP's have enough trouble selling very basic services with cisco or juniper routers these days. Tight pursed SP's with Managed Firewall Services need an even lower priced (25-35K) "simple switches/appliances" and there will be sales galore.
sinakul 12/4/2012 | 7:54:08 PM
re: Crossbeam Announces Services Switch Well, Crossbeam isn't unique. The article states that they compete with the likes of CoSine and Corona. CoSine announced a partnership with Checkpoint earlier this year to port Firewall-1 onto their platform. And on top of that, CoSine's box does all the other functions the Crossbeam box doesn't address. So the only atrractive point I see about the Crossbeam product is price. However, if I were to set up my data center using their product, I will have to add routers and other boxes to complete my network. I am not sure how much money I will end up saving with Crossbeam. With their solution, I will also end up managing a bunch of different boxes from different vendors....I prefer the integrated solution more.
gladysnight 12/4/2012 | 7:54:18 PM
re: Crossbeam Announces Services Switch Paul,

Any chance you have a reference to the most recent market share numbers in this space?
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