A few months ago we published a technical white paper explaining how we measure the performance of Cisco IPS sensors. The idea was to give Cisco IPS customers insight into the work that goes into producing the performance numbers that are recorded in a data sheet, with the ultimate goal of helping customers deploy the correct IPS appliance for their environment. We have now followed up the performance work with a paper describing how we test the effectiveness of our IPS product line.
Data sheet performance numbers are often used to make purchasing and deployment decisions for network devices. This is true for Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) as well. However, the nature of IPS is such that performance can vary greatly based on multiple factors, including the traffic mix seen at the IPS, signature tuning, and the software version in use. As a result, basing an IPS deployment purely on data sheet numbers is difficult. Cisco has demystified data sheet performance metrics for its IPS 4500 and IPS 4300 products via a detailed technical paper that walks the reader through each performance number.