BorderWare Introduces “FailSafe Clustering Architecture” for High Availability into MXtreme
London, UK – April 20, 2004 – Although enterprises have deployed perimeter point solutions to deal with the incessant onslaught of spam and virus attacks, these systems are inadequate in assuring timely message delivery or protection against the possible of loss of email due to overloading or outright system failure. BorderWare Technologies Inc., The Security Appliances Company, today announced High Availability Load Optimisation, a failsafe clustering architecture for high availability for the MXtreme Mail Firewall appliance. MXtreme now takes a significant step forward by applying data centre operational disciplines to email, making it the first email security product capable of delivering zero downtime, zero latency and zero message loss.
"As enterprises continue to increase their dependence on email as the most mission-critical communications platform, IT groups must ensure that their messaging infrastructure remains secure, reliable and always available," said Matt Cain, Sr. Vice President, META Group. "In nearly all cases, perimeter email gateways are single systems that offer minimal fault-tolerance."
A New Level of Email Reliability
MXtreme now provides a carrier-grade failsafe clustering architecture for high availability that enables two or more MXtreme systems to act as a single logical unit for processing email messages. It supports high availability through its unique security, cluster management, load balancing and optimisation, and patent-pending "stateful failover" capabilities, ensuring that mail messages are never lost due to security vulnerabilities or individual system failures. Systems can also be added or removed from clusters without interruption to the overall service.
Security – MXtreme is the most secure email firewall available, and is currently being certified under the Common Criteria at EAL4 (Evaluation Assurance Level), a level of security usually only attained by network firewalls. This high level of security ensures that the system's reliability cannot be compromised by malicious attack, such as denial of service attacks, buffer-overflows, malware or other attacks.
Cluster Management – MXtreme's centralised management allows administrators to manage MXtreme clusters and to synchronize configuration settings across all systems in the cluster. Combined reports and email database searches may be derived from clustered systems. Specific features include:
Cloning – This function allows systems to be added to clusters and to assume the configuration of a defined "master" system.
Cluster Synchronization – Systems within a cluster can be tied to the defined "master" system. Any changes to the configuration of the master are reflected in the configuration of all systems in the cluster.
Centralised Management – Where tight clustering is not desirable, MXtreme's centralised management scheme can be employed. This allows the administrator to propagate settings from a defined master to cluster members.
Cluster Reporting – MXtreme has the most comprehensive reporting of any email firewall system, providing statistics on all aspects of email handling, spam, viruses and system health. MXtreme also maintains a detailed database of all email that has passed through the system. MXtreme reports can be generated for a single system or for all systems in a cluster. The email database can be searched by system or by cluster. The history and status of any message can be instantly retrieved regardless of which system processed the message.
Failsafe Clustering Architecture – A basic requirement of high availability is to have an automated or semi-automated mechanism for switching the mail stream between available systems in the cluster, depending on their individual availability or health. BorderWare has been working with network traffic management vendors, such as F5 Networks, to enable high availability and intelligent load balancing. For example, customers that deploy F5's BIG-IP with MXtreme will realise benefits as the two products intelligently "communicate". BIG-IP can check for system health, traffic flow and current loads on any MXtreme system before forwarding SMTP traffic to it.
"Stateful Failover" – Regardless of whether round robin or load balancers are used, high availability cannot be achieved unless the data itself can be protected against loss. If a system in a cluster should fail after it has received a message but before it has delivered it, that message will be lost forever. This is a function of queuing, and all SMTP store-and-forward relays are subject to the same vulnerability. As mail volumes have increased, this vulnerability has grown, and the number of messages that may be in this state – received but not yet delivered – can easily climb into the thousands.
MXtreme delivers a unique solution to this problem with "stateful failover", a patent-pending process that replicates queues and intelligently synchronizes messages to a defined mirror system within a cluster. A "heartbeat" connection between multiple MXtreme systems within the cluster ensures that if any system should fail, the mirror system will deliver its messages.
BorderWare Technologies Inc. is The Security Appliances Company. The company's MXtreme Mail Firewall appliance installs at the network edge to deliver the most comprehensive perimeter security for an organization's email infrastructure. MXtreme protects against Denial-of-Service attacks like MyDoom, buffer overflows, directory harvesting, spam, viruses, and other vulnerabilities that could paralyze email communications. More than 1500 systems are deployed in 34 countries at various military, intelligence, defence, national security agencies, and corporations. BorderWare has affiliations and partnerships with some of the industry's most prominent companies in Internet infrastructure and security including Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, RSA Security, Research In Motion (RIM), Brightmail, Kaspersky Labs, BlueCat Networks, Network Engines and SSH Communications Security.
Founded in 1994, BorderWare is a private company headquartered in Toronto, Canada with offices in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Dubai, Dallas, San Jose, and Washington DC. For more information visit http://www.borderware.com.
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(c) 2004 BorderWare Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved. BorderWare, The Security Appliances Company, MXtreme and The Benchmark for Email Security are trademarks of BorderWare Technologies Inc. All other company and/or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers.
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