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Quarry promises encryption at gigabit speed

Quarry promises encryption at gigabit speed

Quarry Technologies says its service switch will not only classify traffic at gigabit speed, it will decrypt and encrypt the traffic as well.

Quarry's iQ8000 IP Service Edge Switch, announced in May, was originally designed to parse IP traffic as it flows from a customer network into a service provider network and apply service quality markers to it. Now Quarry says the iQ8000 will be able to decrypt Triple-DES traffic that has been encr-ypted by customers, parse it, classify it and re-encrypt it - all at gigabit speed.

This will enable service providers to support VPNs that use Triple-DES as the encryption standard, and give priority to the most important traffic, says Bob Larribeau, research director for technology-consulting firm RHK.

The company is promising at the Next Generation Networks conference to deliver what it calls optical-speed encrypted traffic engineering. It will inspect packets down to the application layer if necessary, then enforce the quality of service policies on the traffic. Service providers would set these policies.

The iQ8000 is scheduled to ship by year-end.

The product can decrypt traffic for inspection, then re-encrypt it at gigabit speed. This enables carriers to offer service guarantees on sensitive video traffic for example, says Quarry. This packet processing is performed by application-specific integrated circuits designed by Quarry.

Such technology might be useful to customers using the services of an application service provider, where response time between customer clients and ASP servers is critical to keeping sessions alive and delivering LAN-speed response time.

Quarry uses its own prioritisation scheme, called prioritised weighted fair queuing, to make sure traffic gets the quality of service it requires. This scheme works among networked iQ8000s, and when the Quarry product hands off traffic to other devices such as routers or ATM switches, it can translate the traffic to whatever priority scheme they employ, the company says. The iQ8000 will support standard IP, ATM and packet-over-SONET prioritisation, according to Quarry.

As it does its work, the company says the device also gathers traffic statistics which can be used to indicate whether service-level agreements are being met or determine how much to adjust bandwidth if they are not. Each switch is large enough to handle about 10,000 subscribers, Quarry

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