FirePOWER: IPS Solution and Network Security

Sourcefire, Inc. (Nasdaq: FIRE) is accelerating its Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) portfolio this week with the help of FirePOWER.

The new Sourcefire 3D8000 series appliances run on top of Linux and provide more scalability and power than other products in the Sourcefire portfolio. Sourcefire is well known in the open source community as the leader of the Snort IPS project.

Marc Solomon, acting senior vice president of marketing at Sourcefire told that the 3D8000 is part of his company’s move into the next generation firewall market which was first announced in October. Next generation firewalls integrate IPS with traditional firewall deep packet inspection capabilities.

“FIREPOWER is a set of technologies that have been put together in a box to increase throughput and energy efficiency while also allowing for more headroom as we move into the future,” Solomon said.

Solomon noted that the new 3D8260 has 40 Gbps of total throughput and is designed to be stacked together. Two 3D8260 appliances in a stack would provide up to 80G of total throughput.

Initially the 3D38000 series will be available with 1 and 10 Gbps ports. Solomon noted that at the end of the year Sourcefire intends to ship a 40 Gbps port as well to support the 40 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) standard.

The move to increasingly faster IPS devices is one that multiple networking vendors have been working towards in recent months. In February, IBM announced a 20 Gbps IPS. HP also has a 20 Gbps IPS device in market.

The overall market for network security and IPS solutions is a growing one. A report issued in 2010 by Infonetics Research forecast the market to be worth $1.2 billion by 2014

In addition to the 3D8000 lineup, Sourcefire is also debuting the new IPSx appliance portfolio. Solomon explained that the IPSx is intended for the networking generalist as opposed to a dedicated security professional.

The IPSx is intended to be easier to configure, with default policy configuration out of the box to help provide the best detection. Solomon noted that that the IPSx is a good fit for enterprises that don’t have full-time security personnel but need to have an IPS for PCI compliance.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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