I am writing to you live from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas while attending Interop. While here, I make it a point to identify new products that are of interest to those who can not attend. First up is the McAfee Total Protection (ToPS) for Network product suite designed to replace endless network appliances, while following a popular consolidation trend in enterprise computing by using blade server technology.

The ToPS suite provides an incredible modular approach. In the Content Security Blade Server chassis, you can have network appliance roles of e-mail filtering, anti-spam, anti-phishing, Web content filtering, and other traditional network roles. The main objective for a large, centralized equipment resource such as this is to address the burden of managing multiple appliances.

The one caveat observed initially is that the blades can not be intermixed of network appliance and general purpose servers or integrated into an existing blade environment.

Industry standard equipment

The first question I have when using computer or server-based appliances is, “What kind of hardware does this server use, and how do I support it?” With the ToPS suite, this is not an issue. The Content Security Blade Server is built on HP ProLiant c-class blades chassis and blade modules. There is proprietary management software, but the modular approach to network management may be a welcome relief to space-tight data centers. This also opens the door for high performance in the ToPS suite. The ToPS system can process over 5 million e-mail messages per hour on this equipment, and 10 GB Ethernet is also natively available on the Content Security Blade Server. The figure below shows the equipment for the ToPS suite:

Disaster recovery fit and green computing

The ToPS suite profiles can be modeled to a parallel blade environment to fit a disaster recovery model. In conjunction with using network management to meet DR requirements, the ToPS suite can fit well into some full-functionality configurations. Further, the use of blade servers will conserve more power for the overall solution, which will be popular with green computing initiatives. More information on the ToPS suite can be found on the McAfee website.