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HP unveils new advanced threat appliance

ICYMI: HP announces new advanced threat appliance for TippingPoint portfolio; Compuware agrees to $2.5 billion buyout.

Hewlett-Packard is expanding its security portfolio with a new advanced persistent threat platform.

The TippingPoint Advanced Threat Appliance (ATA) is commercially available early next year, said Rob Greer, vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard's (HP) TippingPoint business.

The advanced threat device will dovetail with HP's existing intrusion protection systems (IPS) and next-generation firewall (NGFW) products, providing enterprises with what HP contends is a comprehensive system designed to both detect and mitigate threats.

"The evolution of Internet security has changed a lot since the early days of TippingPoint and that's why we released a next-generation firewall last year to give users a multifunction option to have IPS, NGFW and application inspection in one device," Greer said.

"This is an evolution of that; a lot of customers are looking at Internet security devices to protect against advanced threats that are network-borne, either brought in through mobile devices or normal browsing on the Internet."

Although the ATA will be marketed to non-HP customers, Greer said the appliance is tailored to enterprises and organizations that already use HP's IPS or NGFW products.

"This will provide customers that have already invested in TippingPoint some automation features via the Security Management System" console, he said. The integration will permit the ATA to automatically send threat data to either IPS or NGFW platforms, permitting users to craft an automated, enterprise-wide response to detected malware.

The ATA will be updated with threat information and signatures from HP's Digital Vaccine Labs. If malware is detected, it will be run in a separate, sandboxed environment to determine its components. If malware infiltrates the network, ATA will identify the behavior of infected machines or devices.

HP is selling two versions of the ATA. ATA Network is priced between $31,000 and $175,000 and will ship with throughputs ranging from 250 Mbps to 4 Gbps. An email-specific ATA will be priced at $14,995 plus a fee per user, based on volume.

In addition to the new threat appliance, HP announced the expansion of its Advanced Threat API program with South Korea-based AhnLab, which joins existing API partners Blue Coat, Damballa, Lastline and Trend Micro. The program, launched earlier this year, lets customers of these vendors integrate with HP TippingPoint products to block threats discovered by ATA partners.

Cisco unveils new server lineup

Cisco fortified its Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio with new servers aimed at cloud service providers and a combined server, storage and networking device for small-scale and enterprise-edge environments.

"Rapid changes in the way applications are architected and delivered are being driven by the demands of big data, the Internet of Everything, mobility, video and cloud," said Paul Perez, vice president and general manager of Cisco's UCS unit, in a statement.

The UCS M-Series modular servers are aimed at cloud services and enterprises with large data demands. A rack server, the UCS C3160, has high-capacity local disk storage and is engineered for distributed data centers. Cisco also announced a UCS server for remote sites, the UCS Mini. The server combines server, storage and networking operations and is tailored for remote sites without IT support.

The New York Times said Cisco's UCS initiative reflects the vendor's strategy to get its hardware placed in more locations. Cisco can then sell software and other services to be placed within those servers. Perez told The Times that Cisco had sold more than $1 billion of Cisco products to customers that have purchased UCS products over the past several years.

According to IDC, Cisco is the No. 1 provider of x86 blade servers in the Americas, measured by revenue market share.

Compuware agrees to $2.5B buyout

Compuware Corp. said it agreed to be acquired by venture capital firm Thoma Bravo LLC in a transaction valued at approximately $2.5 billion. The deal, slated to close early next year, will convert the Detroit-based application performance management (APM) developer into a privately held company.

"Organizations are increasingly relying on mission-critical technologies and applications to reach customers and grow their businesses, and Compuware's solutions, including Compuware APM, are the leading choice by many of the world's largest organizations for ensuring those applications perform seamlessly," said Orlando Bravo, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, in a statement. "Becoming a private company will enable this established market leader to leverage strategic product and other growth opportunities that will take Compuware to the next level."

Compuware has been under pressure by a minority shareholder, Elliott Management, to sell the company. San Francisco-based Thoma Bravo will pay $10.92 per share for Compuware; a 17% premium to what Compuware's share price was before the deal was announced.

In a related announcement, Compuware said it would change the name of its Compuware APM business to Dynatrace as it moves to capitalize on the $2.4 billion APM market. 

Cisco, Rockwell eye network convergence in new course

Rockwell Automation and Cisco said they would roll out a new network convergence training course, aimed at IT and operational technology professionals who manage industrial control systems.

The lab-based course, Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS) will also allow IT pros to prepare for Cisco's recently introduced Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification.

"Establishing an effective connected enterprise requires seamless collaboration and integration between IT and OT professionals," said Gary Pearsons, vice president and general manager of Rockwell's customer support and maintenance business unit, in a statement. "Our new training course empowers IT and OT professionals with the expertise they need to position their enterprises for future technology transitions."

Cisco said it estimates the industry will require 220,000 IT and OT engineers each year to accommodate the growth of the Internet of Things.

Topics covered in the course include network availability, cyber security and the steps required to install, maintain and troubleshoot industrial network systems.

The IMINS course is available for open enrollment in the United States with 28 classes planned through April 2015. Participants who enroll before Oct. 3 will receive a 10% discount, the firms said.

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