Crossbeam gets boost from security solutions growth
BellSouth has gone from offering another firm's managed security service to actually providing one itself, and in doing so, it has put its organization and security switch vendor Crossbeam on what Infonetics Research describes as the steady growth path for managed security solutions.
Two-and-a-half years ago, BellSouth brought to market a managed security service, which was outsourced from another provider. BellSouth later decided to take better advantage of its MPLS-based network and the growing demand for virtual private network (VPN) services and brought managed security in-house using Crossbeam's security switch.
BellSouth's NetVPN Managed Security Service is now a complement to the managed VPN service and has grown steadily since it was introduced — steadily enough for BellSouth to begin talking about it.
“Customers see the value in coming to BellSouth for VPN and managed security because security is really an overhead cost to their business,” said Michael Spoor, director of network infrastructure and ISP security at BellSouth.
Using Crossbeam's Security Switch, BellSouth plans to expand the number of managed security services it offers beyond basic firewall. It can't say yet which services, but if they coincide with Forrester Research projections, intrusion detection could be among them.
Forrester said that while managed firewall services will grow at an annual rate of 25%, managed intrusion detection systems will grow at 47%.
“The business case has proved itself significantly,” Spoor said. “The take rate has met, and in some cases, exceeded our expectations, and it will continue to grow as we add more services.”
The Crossbeam X-Series Security Switch currently runs 15 different types of security services. It uses Check Point's VPN-1 VSX security software to aggregate up to 250 comprehensive security policies on a single hardware platform.
Since coming to market with its security switch more than three years ago, Crossbeam has signed 450 customers, including two RBOCs and four PTTs. The company built its switch for carriers, but dabbled in the enterprise space during the downturn in the U.S. In Europe it has remained focused on carriers.
Throop Wilder, Crossbeam co-founder and vice president of marketing, said the need for a carrier-scale security switch will grow significantly as projects like fiber to the premises make capacity an issue.
“The amount of aggregate bandwidth coming into the service provider data center will be scary,” Wilder said. “So carriers should be building three to five years out to make sure they have the capacity.”
Crossbeam has that kind of capacity. It can handle more than 2000 virtual systems in one chassis and can process up to 8 Gb/s of traffic. BellSouth's Spoor said that besides being ready with a product when it needed one, the carrier picked Crossbeam for that scalability.
Jeff Wilson, executive director of Infonetics Research, said the managed security market is growing gradually. “There is never going to be a breakout year for managed security,” he said.
However, in his most recent quarterly report, he said worldwide VPN and firewall hardware and software revenue increased 2% from Q204 to Q304, and is projected to grow 16% to $843 million by Q305. By 2007, Wilson expects annual revenue to grow to $3.6 billion.
He said Crossbeam doesn't appear on the market share leader board because they don't share numbers publicly yet. However, he said, “Crossbeam specifically developed a super-scalable carrier platform, and from all reports, it's doing okay.”
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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