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AT&T, Palo Alto Networks and Broadcom Develop Firewall Framework

New Framework Enables Deployment of Firewalls as Software-Based Platforms

AT&T, Palo Alto Networks and Broadcom have been developing a framework that enables organizations to deploy firewalls as software-based platforms instead of hardware appliances.

Called Disaggregated Scalable Firewall (DSFW), the framework was introduced as an expansion to the Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC) that AT&T contributed to the Open Compute Project (OCP) last year.

The expansion, which should provide necessary protections on 5G networks, delivers a dynamically programmable basis with embedded security at the edge of the network and also allows for the deployment of future services.

Featuring an open hardware and software design, the framework supports flexible deployment models, and leverages AI and machine learning to prevent attacks. By embedding the capabilities into the network fabric, the solution eliminates the need for separate hardware.

Palo Alto Networks contributed to DSFW with technology that brings security directly on the network edge, and which enables dynamical scaling as network traffic increases.

DSFW also takes advantage of Broadcom’s Jericho 2 chip, which the vendor purposed to retain Layer 4 session information, thus enabling hardware offload and improving scalability. Session-aware, the application determines what can be processed on the fabric silicon instead of DSFW, for further inspection.

The three companies also collaborated on defining requirements – including scalability and functionality – for network security services in a carrier environment.

Commenting on the release, Michael Satterlee, VP of network infrastructure and services at AT&T, pointed out that 5G is expected to significantly increase the amount of data traffic on the carrier’s network, and that the new design delivers the needed security through control, visibility, and advanced threat protection.

“We commend AT&T and Palo Alto Networks on the release of the DSFW framework. This approach enables pervasive security at terabit scale economically. Through our close technical collaboration, we have leveraged the extensive capabilities in Jericho2 and look forward to delivering additional solutions in the very near future, to secure and scale the network infrastructure,” Oozie Parizer, senior director of product marketing at Broadcom’s Core Switching Group, commented.

Related: 'State of the Firewall' Report: Automation Key to Preventing Costly Misconfigurations

Related: Intel Announces New Hardware-based Security Capabilities

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