Cymphonix Unveils Security And Reporting Appliances
Cymphonix, which specializes in secure web gateways and network reporting, has unveiled their latest product duo. In keeping with their cheeky ‘musical’ theme, the two devices are the Network Composer EX and Network Conductor. Here’s a quick rundown on the new ‘jazz’ (as it were) and what Cymphonix might mean for VARs in IT-based areas…
“We look at packets and understand what’s in the data flow, where it came from, and who generated it. With Cymphonix in the network [you can say] “What’s going on?” [It has a] tremendous impact on network from the content side, [letting us know the] amount and type of content.”
But let’s get a little more technical…
What It Does
It’s pretty simple. First, the Cymphonix Network Composer:
It enables organizations to get down to granular Internet optimization for eliminating threats while monitoring traffic down to the exact type of content going through the company’s pipeline. Supporting up to a 1 GB/s speed, Cymphonix XLi OS lets you get a real deep view of your traffic, too.
What makes it ‘special’ — so to speak — is that instead of typical scanning of layers 3 and 4, the EX series can actually give you deep packet inspection from layers 3 to 7, along with a real-time HTTPS scanning, so you can look into encrypted sessions to make sure they’re not security risks. Composer has a Web-based interface that’s easy to use, and offers detailed reports down to user activity, application traffic and threats. The same interface can also “shape” Internet traffic, allowing a more custom-tailored filter (e.g. block certain type of data through Port 80. Nixon gave me the analogy of ‘shaving’ off YouTube video from Port 80).
Then there’s the Cymphonix Network Conductor:
Through a centralized interface, the Conductor will access 100-plus Cymphonix Network Composer EX’s. More simply, the Conductor ‘conducts’ the Composer EX. The idea is to provide “visibility [to streamline] reporting and policy management of Internet usage across an organization.”
Again, ease of use and ease of understanding is Cymphonix’s thing: The conductor correlates data by appliance, zones, locations and users. And yet again, ‘granular’ is a word Cymphonix stresses. Conductor can enable automated reports about specific network activity, trends, and historical reports that can be juxtaposed to existing traffic patterns
Nixon gave an interesting example for how the Composer and Conductor team can help understand traffic in a network:
“[Let’s say] you notice in the reports a spike in HTTP traffic. You can correlate by web category [and] you’d see hits and bandwidth. [If] hits look good [you’d check] bandwidth, [since the] web category of ‘gaming’ may not have many hits, but still uses lots of bandwidth. [Then you’d check] who’s doing it. It’s Joe in the mail room. Joe in the mailroom is playing games. [Do we] shut him down or ‘shave’ him down? [If you shave] Joe can still game, but not slow down the network.”
Nixon’s example also included a sympathetic CEO, understanding of a ‘slow’ day in the mail room, hence not closing off that traffic. But essentially, it’s ‘shaping’ the network traffic at a more granular level, instead of rudimentary ‘on/off’ switches.
Sounds cool, but how does it all fit inside your already busy network configuration? Pretty simple. The Composer sits LAN side, behind the firewall, while Conductor can sits anywhere inside the network just off of a switch. It doesn’t need to actually be “online” or connected to the ‘net, the Conductor just eats all the data from the Composers.
If you’re wondering how this fits into the Channel, Nixon covered that too.
“[We’ve been a] VAR focused company since Day 1. Last July (2009) we launched with Ingram [with a] two-tiered distribution model. [We have a] very good partner program [with] all the partner portals and tools for registering deals. We work hard to eliminated competition among our partners.”
And as far as MSPs? “The product lends itself to MSP businesses [since] reporting is very visual [and]…. MSPs can send customers reports every month as a reminder…of what [their network] used to look like.”
Nixon noted that many companies — after a demo install of their Cymphonix Composer and Conductor – don’t want it removed since it does such a great job. Lastly, he noted that if VARs are looking for something different, Cymphonix is the place to be.
So VARs, if granular network filtering and deep packet inspection are the name of the game, does Cymphonix sound like music to your ears?