Reactivity Inc. is reacting to a growing need to secure Web services by replacing its software firewall with a new hardware appliance.
The Belmont, Calif.-based company today is releasing the Reactivity XML Firewall, a hardware offering that complements existing enterprise firewalls by securing XML and Web services communications.
Designed to sit at the edge of a corporate network, the product acts as an XML proxy that performs authentication, authorization, auditing, XML validation and routing to secure bidirectional message flow among distributed applications.
XML Firewall replaces Reactivity's previous software product, Service Firewall. Leon Baranovsky, the company's vice president of marketing, said that not only does the hardware product offer better security, but it also lowers the cost of implementing an XML firewall.
"By providing an appliance, we're lowering the provisioning costs by eliminating the requirement to install and configure software," Baranovsky said. "It's also a solution that's very easy to scale up, because all you need to do is get another appliance."
The product includes Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration, which enables authentication and authorization decisions to be made based on identity and privilege information stored in LDAP directories. It also offers certificate authority integration with various identity management and single sign-on products.
Baranovsky said XML Firewall acts as a transparent XML proxy, meaning reconfiguration of an existing firewall isn't required. The product intercepts incoming XML and Web services messages, checks them against established policies, and then routes safe messages to the appropriate back-end applications.
The product can also be used to secure XML traffic inside an enterprise, Baranovsky said, in order to serve the needs of companies developing Web services among departments or business units. Though it's able to check SOAP and WSDL, it is also capable of providing security for less complex XML messages over HTTP.
Baranovsky said XML Firewall is platform-agnostic, and that IBM Corp.'s WebSphere, BEA Systems Inc.'s WebLogic and Microsoft Corp.'s .NET applications are among the platforms being used by the company's early customers.
Reactivity, which is backed financially by Lotus cofounder and former CEO Mitch Kapor, is hoping its new hardware approach will help it gain an advantage in a crowded XML firewall market, which includes competitors such as Flamenco Networks Inc., Westbridge Technology Inc., Vordel Ltd., Quadrasis Inc., Forum Systems Inc. and others.
Pricing for XML Firewall begins at $50,000 per unit.
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