Lucent plugs holes in its firewall/VPN line

Lucent Technologies Inc. is announcing five products that will give enterprise customers a way to plug potential security holes in telecommuter offices as well as large data centers.

While the company already offers a line of firewalls and firewall/VPN appliances and routers, these additions address areas Lucent did not previously protect. Specifically, the new Brick products include a small firewall appliance for telecommuter offices, a larger firewall for data centers and a combination VPN/ firewall appliance for branch offices. Also, the new gear includes two WAN routers for branch offices that incorporate firewall and VPN protection.

"I don't think they are missing anything," says Zeus Kerravala, a research director at The Yankee Group. Lucent's family of customer site gear now rivals Cisco's for breadth, he says. And Lucent has an edge with its single VPN client, which works across its product line. Cisco gear uses three different clients and the company won't have its unified client ready before next year (, DocFinder:4350).

The new firewall devices are called Brick 20 and Brick 1000. Brick 20 is a 2M bit/sec firewall/VPN appliance that includes a three-port 10/100 Ethernet hub. It costs US$1,500 and is available now. Brick 1000 is a full gigabit firewall, bringing Lucent into the small group of vendors that can protect gigabit connections to data centers and storage-area networks. Cisco, NetScreen and start-up Asita also have gigabit firewalls.

For branch offices, Lucent is introducing Access Point 300, joining the Access Point 450 and 1000 high-end VPN/firewall boxes. The Access Point 300 includes a WAN access router that comes in five models with different WAN interfaces, including ISDN, T-1, E-1, V.35 and a serial port. It sports a 5M bit/sec firewall and can perform Triple-DES encryption, also at 5M bit/sec. It can handle up to 500 simultaneous IP Security (IP Sec) tunnels and supports Layer 2 tunneling protocol as well.

Access Point 300 will be available this summer for $4,000 to $6,000, depending on WAN interface.

For smaller offices, Lucent is announcing the SuperPipe 170, a VPN/firewall with an asymmetric DSL (ADSL) WAN port and a 10/100 Ethernet LAN port. It performs Triple-DES encryption at 1M bit/sec and supports up to 150 IPSec tunnels. It costs $1,095.

The SuperPipe 175 handles voice and data and connects to a service provider network via a T-1, V.35 or ADSL port. It supports voice over IP based on the H.323 standard, and has four analog voice ports for connecting phones and fax machines. It costs $1,600 to $1,800, depending on WAN interface.

Lucent is promising to unite management of its disparate VPN/firewall products under its overarching Navis management platform by year-end. Management of its Springtide IP service switches, which can be used in conjunction with the customer gear to provide managed firewall and VPN services, also will be brought under the Navis umbrella.

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