Cisco Systems is announcing two new models in its ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance family. Additionally, the company is releasing a new version of its NAC Appliance product.
The ASA 5505 and the ASA 5550 appliances are being released as core components of Cisco’s self-defending network strategy. One of the new appliances, the ASA 5505, is being released as an entry-level product, while the ASA 5550 is being released for customers that need a higher-end product, said Alex Thurber, director of security, data center and optical for worldwide channels at Cisco Systems.
“It’s such an important product for the channel,” Thurber said. The unified threat management (UTM) space is important for the channel because the network and edge security are becoming so critical to businesses of all sizes, he added.
Rob Hughes, Business Manager for Security at Distributor Comstor commented, “This confirms Cisco’s continued focus on the SMB space. Comstor is seeing growth within multi-function appliances and these new products will help sales in this space grow further.
Cisco recognises this growing and the need within the SMB space for an appliance that can do multiple functions such as network security. With this announcement that is what Cisco is doing and these appliances represent good value for money.”
The ASA 5500 platform was first announced a year ago, and Cisco continues to expand it with new appliances. Priced at $595 (U.S.), the new ASA 5505 is an entry-level appliance, but Thurber said that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in functionality.
The ASA 5505 has many capabilities packed into a small desktop form factor. It was designed to provide customers with high-performance security services and is capable of delivering 150Mbps of firewall throughput and 100Mbps of encrypted VPN throughput. It also comes with an expansion slot.
The 5505 offers hardware-accelerated SSL VPN services, an integrated eight-port 10/100 switch and two built-in PoE ports.