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03 June 2006

Fortinet ATCA-Compliant Blade

One of the most successful products of Cisco Systems is its Catalys 6500 Switch series. It may not be the best product in the market compared to many other switches like Foundry's BigIron, and Extreme and many other equivalent products. But the main stength of Cisco's backbone switch, is the ability to add various modules to it, making it act as an all-in-one network device. You can find Firewall, IPS, and Layer 4-7 modules that can be integrated into the Catalyst 6500 and also the 7600 Router.
This is why a move like the one taken by Fortinet - a well know security products producer - may be really interesting to Cisco competitors. The ATCS - Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture - defined by the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturers Group (PICMG), was created to help building systems that include computing and communications products for myriad applications. In other words, it is a standart that help multiple venors to integrate different blades, and modules in their chassis as long as they complu to it, so you may find a Layer-3 switches vendor integrating a firewall blade made by other vendor into its own switches. And as you may have noticed, Fortinet was the first to have is ATCA-Compliant security blade with the ability to run as a Firewall, IPS, AntiSpam, URL Filtering, etc. Actually I've notices some cooperation efforts between Alcatel and Fortinet long time ago, that's why I guess the Alcatel may be the first to add that Fortinet security module in its own OmniStack switches.

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