The Check Point Advanced Networking and Clustering Software Blade simplifies network security deployment and management within complex and highly utilized networks, while maximizing network performance and security in multi-Gbps environments. This combination is ideal for high-end enterprise and datacenter environments where performance and availability are critical.

Benefits

Advanced networking features for maximum performance and availability
  • ISP redundancy for reliability and fault-tolerance
  • QoS prioritization guarantees bandwidth and controls latency
  • Application load balancing manages server workloads during high volume traffic
Advanced technologies provide maximum network security and performance
  • SecureXL accelerates multiple intensive security operations
  • CoreXL multicore acceleration increases deep inspection throughput
  • ClusterXL provides high availability and load sharing for business continuity
Integrated into Check Point Software Blade Architecture™
  • Fully integrated with existing Check Point security policy management products
  • Activate advanced networking and clustering on any Check Point security gateway
  • Saves time and reduces costs by leveraging existing security infrastructure

Features

Organizations looking to implement scalable, fault-tolerant, secure networks can use the Advanced Networking Software Blade to run industry-standard dynamic routing protocols including BGP, OSPF, RIPv1 and RIPv2 on security gateways. OSPF, RIPv1 and RIPv2 enable dynamic routing over a single autonomous system—like a single department, company, or service provider—to avoid network failures. BGP provides dynamic routing support across more complex networks involving multiple autonomous systems—such as when a company uses two service providers or divides a network into multiple areas with different administrators responsible for the performance of each.

The Advanced Networking Software Blade also integrates multicast protocol support in IP appliances, including IGMP, PIM-DM and PIM-SM.

Advanced Networking lets you prioritize business-critical traffic such as ERP, database, and Web services traffic over less time-critical traffic. It also allows you to guarantee bandwidth and control latency for streaming applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing. In addition, with highly granular controls, Advanced Networking enables guaranteed or priority access to specific employees—even if they are remotely accessing network resources through a VPN tunnel.

ISP Redundancy assures reliable Internet connectivity by allowing a single or clustered security gateway to connect to the Internet through redundant Internet Service Provider (ISP) links. This feature does not require costly new networking hardware or specialized knowledge to operate. Two modes are available: Load Sharing and Primary/Backup.

Each connection request is directed to a specific server based on one of five predefined load balancing algorithms. The server load algorithm prevents any server from handling a disproportionately high volume of traffic. Each incoming connection request is directed to the server experiencing the lightest load.

Patented Check Point security acceleration technology, SecureXL, removes latency associated with intense security processing by creating a special device layer that can make security decisions earlier. In both servers and dedicated appliances, performance is affected negatively by memory, system-bus, and CPU speed as traffic passes through a system. By creating a SecureXL device layer, the Check Point security gateway enables security decisions to be made at a lower application level to remove performance bottlenecks.

After the start of a transaction, if a packet is examined using traditional security methods and is determined to be safe, the SecureXL device layer takes over responsibility for examining any remaining packets—cutting out latency caused by hardware design. SecureXL can be implemented at both a hardware layer using network processors, as is done on some “Secured by Check Point” partner appliances, or at a virtual software layer on open servers.

ClusterXL provides high availability and load sharing that keeps businesses running without interruption. ClusterXL distributes traffic between clusters of redundant gateways, combining the computing capacity of multiple machines to increase total throughput. In the event of a gateway or network failure, connections are seamlessly redirected to a designated backup, maintaining business continuity. This enables near-linear scalability for large deployments without the cost of separate load-balancing equipment.

ClusterXL provides high availability and load sharing that keeps businesses running without interruption. ClusterXL distributes traffic between clusters of redundant gateways, combining the computing capacity of multiple machines to increase total throughput. In the event of a gateway or network failure, connections are seamlessly redirected to a designated backup, maintaining business continuity. This enables near-linear scalability for large deployments without the cost of separate load-balancing equipment.

The Advanced Network and Clustering Software Blade is fully integrated into the Software Blade architecture, saving time and reducing costs by allowing customers to quickly expand security protections to meet changing requirements.

Specifications

The Advanced Networking and Clustering Software Blade, which is available on many Check Point appliances, combines the features and functionality of two earlier Software Blades—Advanced Networking and Acceleration & Clustering, which are still available for other appliances. The following tables describe the supported protocols and capabilities, as well as which Software Blades should be ordered for each type of appliance.

Feature
Details
1  Available on IPSO releases
See SecureKnowledge sk98226 for the latest information on dynamic routing support in the GAiA OS
Supported Internet ProtocolsIPv4 RFC 791
ICMP RFC 792
ARP RFC 826
ICMP router discovery (server) RFC 1256 Router discovery v6 (ICMP v6) RFC 24661
CIDR RFC 1519
Static routes
Multicast tunnels
IPv6 core RFCs
VRRPv2 RFC 3768
VRRPv3 (IPv6) draft-ietf-vrrp-ipv6-spec-08.txt
Requirements for IPv4 routers RFC 1812
Quality of service
RFC 2474 (general diffserv PHB information)
RFC 3246 (EF behavior description)
RFC 2597 (AF behavior description)
Bootp/DHCP relay RFCs 951, 2131
Route aggregation and redistribution
Unnumbered interfaces
Link negotiation IEEE 802.3ad
Flow control IEEE 802.3x
Private (RFC 1918) and public IP routing
VLAN 802.1Q transparent mode
Dynamic Routing ProtocolsRIP RFC 1058
RIP version 2 (with authentication) RFC 1723
RIPng (IPv6) RFC 20801
OSPFv2 RFC 2328
OSPF NSSA RFC 3101
OSPFv3 (IPv6) RFC 2740
BGP4 RFCs 1771, 1963, 1966, 1997, 2918
BGP4++ RFC 2545, 2858 (unicast IPv6)
Multicast ProtocolsIGMPv2 RFC 2236
IGMPv3 RFC 3376
PIM-SM RFC 4601
PIM-SSM RFC 4601
PIM-DM RFC 3973
PIM-DM state refresh draft-ietf-pim-refresh-02.txt
DVMRP (multicast) RFC 10751
Quality of Service (QoS)
Minimum Bandwidth AllocationWeighted Fair Queuing (WFQ) algorithm. Guarantees can be set for a group of connections in aggregate or on a per-connection basis
Weighted PrioritiesAllocates bandwidth according to relative merit as defined by business requirements
Bandwidth LimitsSets bandwidth restrictions for non-critical network applications
Low Latency Queuing (LLQ)Reduces delay for latency-sensitive traffic
Server Load BalancingDistributes network traffic among a number of servers. Supports various load-balancing methods (including server load, round trip, round robin, random, and domain) and server availability checks
Integrated Differentiated Services (DiffServ)Enables service providers to offer end-to-end QoS for VPN and unencrypted traffic on IP WANs
ISP Redundancy
Multiple modesLoad sharing or primary/backup
Feature
Details
2  See the Release Notes and User Guide for specific details
SecureXL Firewall Product Support (Performance Pack) 2Access control, encryption, NAT, accounting and logging, connection/session rate, general security checks, IPS features, CIFs resources, TCP sequence verification, dynamic VPN
Connection TemplatesConnection acceleration
Drop TemplatesOptimizes resources
High Availability Modes SupportedActive/Passive and Active/Active
Active/Active Modes Supported Multicast and Unicast
Cluster Control Protocol PortUDP 8116
State SynchronizationSupports ClusterXL and OPSEC third party High Availability (HA) solutions
Sticky Decision FunctionEnsures asynchronous connection support
WAN SynchronizationSupported on synch networks with less than 100 ms latency
Duration Limited SynchronizationPreserves resources from synchronizing connections of short durations
Sync Members SupportedUp to 5 members
VLAN SupportYes
ClusterXL Firewall Product Support 2Authentication/security servers, ACE servers and SecurID, IPS, sequence verifier, UDP encapsulation, SAM, ISP redundancy, third-party VPN peers, IP per user in office mode
Anti-spoofing SupportPrevent spoofing of internal networks
ClusterXL APICheck Point and third-party ClusterXL status support
Critical Device ConfigurationInterfaces, synchronization status, firewall policy status, ClusterXL process status and firewall process status
Full ClusterXL Management and StatusIncluded in Check Point management