Maximize Security By Unlocking Firewall Performance

Radware announces the release of version 1.3 for FireProof™, its award winning firewall load balancing switch-based appliance. First released in Q2 of 1998 FireProof was the first load balancer designed to intelligently distribute traffic between an array of firewalls/VPNs or routers. Since that time, numerous Fortune 500 companies and many major firewall vendors worldwide have adopted FireProof to provide high availability security solutions. FireProof is a layer 3 – 7 hardware load balancing system that provides scalability, optimization and fault tolerance for firewall and VPN farms.

With Internet based global competition increasing as the 21st Century converges on the horizon companies are enhancing their network security systems to protect their investments. Security solutions that represent network bottlenecks or single points of failure can quickly become a part of the security problem. System downtime can be costly and devastating to customer confidence. Businesses can't afford to simply hang a "Sorry, We're Closed" sign on the door to their website or network. Firewall load balancing has become an indispensable link in the security chain, because a single firewall can represent both a bottleneck and a single point of failure. Similar to server load balancing solutions, the way to overcome these issues is to add additional firewalls. Adding firewalls, however, requires some mechanism for intelligently distributing load between the multiple units and detecting failure and saturation of these devices. FireProof adds scalability, optimization of resources, fault tolerance and redundancy to multiple firewall systems by allowing up 100 physical firewalls to work collectively in a single farm. Users are routed through the FireProof, which then intelligently load balances traffic among the firewalls in the network. FireProof can also detect failures anywhere in the network path up to 10 hops downstream from the FireProof enabling it to disable complete traffic paths which become unstable. FireProof allows firewalls to be gracefully added and removed from the farm and continuously polls the health of all firewalls to ensure that users will not be sent to an unavailable resource.

Since Radware was the first vendor to deliver a product into this networking space, it faced the challenge of enhancing the multipurpose FireProof by relying primarily on the advice and recommendations of its customers and partners. A number of advanced features have been incorporated in version 1.3 based on the combined experience and input from partners and firewall vendors like AXENT, Check Point, Lucent, and Secure Computing. Their field-tested use of the current FireProof system provided Radware with crucial feedback and information needed to move the FireProof to a higher level of firewall support and load balancing.

The principal enhancement added by version 1.3 is support for non-transparent firewalls. This feature allows the FireProof to distribute load between transparent and non-transparent firewalls simultaneously. The flexibility of FireProof deployments is thereby significantly improved, as it can now handle traffic distribution to proxy firewalls or firewalls using Network Address Translation (NAT). This major enhancement is done without compromising the advanced session tracking mechanisms of the FireProof.

Other FireProof Version 1.3 Enhancements Include:

  • Port Rules – Port rules allow network administrators to logically segment traffic between ports. This forces traffic to take only specified paths through the FireProof. Port rules allow one FireProof to do the job of up to 4 separate devices by allowing a single box to load balance for up to four security entities within the network. This unique feature allows customers to accomplish both inbound and outbound load balancing with a single FireProof.
  • Least Amount of Bytes: A new load balancing algorithm that enhances the FireProof's ability to intelligently distribute traffic based on bytes per second.
  • Outbound IP Translation: This feature provides full Network Address Translation (NAT) capabilities that enable the FireProof to serve as the proxy when used in conjunction with the virtual IP address feature.
  • FireProof Resource Utilization Index: Provides an index of the overall usage of the FireProof. The index is calculated by monitoring the various tasks the FireProof is performing in order to dynamically check the health and workload of the FireProof itself.

About Radware

Radware pioneered the field of IP load balancing in 1997 with the introduction of the Web Server Director (WSD). Today it is the only company that offers a complete IP load balancing solution for all local or global applications. Radware Ltd. is a member of the $3 billion dollar RAD Group, a family of 13 independent companies serving diverse markets and technology niches within the networking and communications industry. Radware was established in 1997 to focus on load balancing technology. Radware’s award-winning products are installed in Fortune 500 companies and Internet Service Providers worldwide. Radware’s products have won numerous awards, including the prestigious PC Magazine "Editors’ Choice" award; Network Magazine "Product of the Year" award; Internet Computing "Net Best" award; and Network Computing "Editor’s Choice", "Best Value", "Well-Connected" and "Flying Colors" awards. Certifications include the internationally recognized OPSEC™ (Open Platform for Secure Enterprise Connectivity) for FireProof, Radware’s high availability firewall load balancer. GSA Contract Number: GS-35F-4196D. For more information, visit our Internet site at