Security Platforms/Tools

AlcaLu Adds Security to Routers

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is adding security against distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) to the 7750 Service Router, in the form of technology from Arbor Networks , the companies are announcing Wednesday.

Specifically, the software that's behind Arbor's threat-management appliances will be available as half-slot MS-ISA cards for the 7750. AlcaLu will also be reselling Arbor appliances.

Why this matters
Network-based security (do we really have to say "cloud"?) seems like an obvious service for carriers to offer. That's particularly true when it comes to DDoS attacks, which can come at a scale that overwhelms enterprise-network defenses. AlcaLu can help carriers offer that kind of service now.

Unlike its rivals, AlcaLu hasn't toyed with embedding security features into routers. Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has embedded security features in its Junos software, while Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) discontinued the Cisco Guard DDoS-prevention line of products that was available in router-blade form, but it does have the ASA Services Module, a firewall card for the Catalyst 6500.

For more
The Arbor relationship plays into CloudBand, the cloud architecture that AlcaLu announced in November:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:45:19 PM
re: AlcaLu Adds Security to Routers


I read your comment about it being obvious.  What I don't see is that it is obvious via modules inside of routers - especially 3rd party ones.  There are 2 potential issues:

1 - ALU and Arbor will have issues eventually and the partnership will break.  What happens then?

2 - Do the products change features and functions at the same rate?  In other words, am I better off with a separate box because I am going to update my router in 2 years but my DDOS firewall in 5 years?




Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:45:16 PM
re: AlcaLu Adds Security to Routers

Good questions. It's not a perfect way to do things. But I can understand AlcaLu not wanting to develop the security technology on its own. And the pull to integrate things on the router is like a natural instinct; practically every technology gets its shot at being a router blade, and security has been (to me, anyway) a really obvious one for router vendors to lean on.

About the speed-of-update question ... wouldn't the upgrade rate be mostly be the same, since we're talking about software?

But that brings up a good point: Where the router blades probably won't keep up is in the high-speed processing, the kind that requires separate appliances and hardware-based processing in the first place.  For those cases, I would imagine carriers would always shy away from integrating security into the router.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:45:12 PM
re: AlcaLu Adds Security to Routers


No the software can be updated.  But when you buy the next router is not when you buy the next firewall.  They get purchased at different times.




pdonegan67 12/5/2012 | 5:45:04 PM
re: AlcaLu Adds Security to Routers

I reckon there’s a lot more to come from Arbor. DDoS protection is all well and good but one of the newest “security” issues mobile operators are struggling with is the impact of smartphone signaling from keep alive messages and application updates. 


They’re not “attacks” as such but they can have a comparable effect of tying up network resources needlessly and they can also be difficult to distinguish from malign attacks.


I’m expecting more from Arbor in this space and also more in terms of extending the software sales model from Alcatel-Lucent to other vendor partners.

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