Re: [fw-wiz] Intel vs. special purpose FW-1 servers

From: Keith A. Glass (salgak_at_speakeasy.net)
Date: 07/21/05

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    To: "Emily Conrad" <emilydconrad@hotmail.com>, firewall-wizards@honor.icsalabs.com
    Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 13:40:20 +0000
    
    

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Emily Conrad [mailto:emilydconrad@hotmail.com]
    > Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 08:17 PM
    > To: firewall-wizards@honor.icsalabs.com
    > Subject: [fw-wiz] Intel vs. special purpose FW-1 servers
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > We are working on a project to upgrade our firewall infrastructure.
    >
    > One of the questions is whether to use FW-1 on a standard Intel server or to
    > use a special-purpose optimized version of FW-1 on a dedicated hardware
    > platform such as Nokia firewall appliance or Crossbeam systems C30/X40.
    >
    > Does anyone have any advice on what factors are important when making such a
    > decision?

    Several comments.

    1. Have you EVER previously implemented FW-1 on an Intel platform ? IF not, I'd suggest an appliance-based solution. Personally, if I wanted to run FW-1 on generic hardware, I'd buy some cheap SunFire 120s and run it on Solaris, now that single-processor licenses for Solaris are free. I'd specifically recommend Solaris 9, and note that locking down a Solaris system for firewall usage is FAR easier and more complete than trying to lock down a Win2K/2K3 system.

    2. Are you looking to CLUSTER FW-1 for HA or load balancing ? If so, you will DEFINITELY need to look for an optimized appliance-based solution. And, based on my experience, I'd suggest the Nortel "Alteon" systems for FW-1: a pair of Alteon Directors and a pair of compatible Alteon Accelerators give you a clustered solution that doesn't require you to play any oddball Cisco tricks on your switches, allows you a NUMBER of separated nets behind the firewall, and even multiple DMZs. I've used Nokia IP-series before, as well as FW-1 on Solaris, and can't say enough about the Alteon platform. . .

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