Symantec offers firewall for Linux on the iSeries

Symantec unveils a firewall for the iSeries 270 running Linux. The appliance runs directly on one of the iSeries logical partitions (LPAR), instead of on a dedicated server.

Internet security company Symantec Corp. announced Monday a firewall for the iSeries 270 platform running Linux.

Symantec Enterprise Firewall protects applications data by ensuring secure connections with the Internet and between networks. It includes a hardened Linux operating system designed to provide users with a virtual firewall appliance that runs directly on one of the iSeries logical partitions (LPAR), instead of on a dedicated server.

"It's a virtual appliance that runs in its own LPAR in the platform," said Michele Araujo, a product manager for Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec. "The benefit to the user is that now they have full inspection technology -- serving the dual purpose of protecting the Internet gateway and the intranet gateway."

This design enables flexibility and resource sharing for a more simplified, manageable and secure environment, Araujo said. By integrating full application inspection, application-layer proxies, inspection and packet filtering into a unique hybrid architecture, the firewall ensures that information entering and exiting the corporate network is thoroughly inspected at all levels -- for increased security and control, as well as speed.

If someone tries to hack into a system, Symantec Enterprise Firewall will detect this attempt and block it by default, the company said.

Traditionally, the iSeries has required a separate firewall server or appliance for protection. This product eliminates the need for a separate firewall server or appliance and its associated management software or platform -- hence improving the total cost of ownership.

According to Wayne Kernochan, an analyst with Boston-based Aberdeen Group, the iSeries user has never really had to think about security because it was "always chugging away in the backroom," running apps that weren't open to anything external.

"No one has ever seen the need for a firewall," he said.

But clearly, he said, IBM is making a big push to have businesses use Linux, which comes with an entirely new set of security issues. Kernochan said that IBM realizes that, if it's going to persuade users to buy into Linux, security has to be addressed. And what better way to address security than by aligning oneself with the most notable Internet security company in the industry?

Product support is scheduled to expand to other iSeries offerings over the course of this year.

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Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kate Evans-Correia, Senior News Editor

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