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The Aluminum Falcon and Turning Security up to Eleven on the ISR

November 7, 2011 - 0 Comments

Suzuki Hayabusa Turbocharged compared to Cisco ISR web security with Cisco Scan SafeFor years, I rode a Suzuki Hayabusa, a hypersports motorcycle with a very large engine. Felt like Han Solo’s (he shot first, you know) Millenium Falcon when you opened the throttle – instant, strong forward movement regardless of speed or gear. Open throttle and you are heaved down the road. Thus, I had to name the machine something. It was a grotesque bronze color, so for a while I called her the Copper Rhino, but eventually I settled on the name Aluminum Falcon (Hayabusa is the Japanese name for a variant of the Peregrin Falcon) as a good play on the name Hayabusa and also because the intake system set up a resonance in the upper midrange that reminded me of the warbling cry of a Wookie.

Sadly the Mighty Aluminum Falcon was brought down by a Prius, a sad and unjust outcome, but that is a story for a different time. Because the Hayabusa has such a large engine (think car engine stuffed into a bike), it is very pleasant to ride. Need some speed? Grab some throttle. Need more speed? Grab more throttle. Kind of the way you would hope your network would run.

Cisco has been building branch routers for years, our ISR G2s are some of the best machines on the market with a well deserved reputation for toughness and longevity. But, just like a fast bike can be made even better with the addition of a turbocharger, even a solid branch router can be made better with turbo charged, cloud powered web security, in effect, turning it up to eleven.

Typical Cisco ISR Web Security with Cisco ScanSafe DeploymentThus, we bolted the ISR G2 up to ScanSafe, yielding a product not surprisingly called Cisco ISR Web Security with Cisco ScanSafe. Traditionally one of the drawbacks to doing web security at branch offices has been the need to backhaul traffic bound for the web through headquarters so it can be scanned by whatever web security is in place there. This is expensive – it chews up bandwidth and adds latency and kills performance, things that make IT no friends in the ivory tower or in the trenches.

Just as a turbo can add a big hit of power to an engine, offloading CPU intensive work, like scanning internet traffic, can greatly enhance the performance of a branch router. Suddenly, with cloud services such as ScanSafe, there is little to no performance penalty to enabling features like web content security. What you do get is rather nice though, granular policy, down to the user level and your traffic doesn’t have to go through headquarters anymore. Centralized control with localized performance.

Read more about Cisco ISR Web Security with Cisco ScanSafe here.

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