Lucent Managed Firewall - A dedicated firewall for network security


Are you looking for an effective dedicated firewall with its own operating system and software? Read the article to know about Lucent Managed Firewall.

Lucent Managed Firewall is a dedicated firewall which comes with its own operating system and software. It runs on Lucent's communication equipment embedded operating system called Inferno. Inferno is a uniquely designed network operating system that powers everything from switched to cellular phones. It also supports embedded applications like mobile phones for emails. Clearly, Inferno is not designed only for firewalls but it is an excellent fit in this domain. The operating system does not support file system and has no security holes. To avoid local attacks, Lucent Managed Firewall has no local console. It is composed of two components- the firewall which is also referred to as brick and the security management server software. The software runs on administrative workstation and the server runs on Windows NT & Solaris.

As the firewall is a stateful inspection filter, it operates at high speeds of up to 45Mbps without much latency. Clearly, the performance is good. Lucent Managed Firewall is a transparent router with an internal IP address which if used for establishing connections. Other firewalls in market are also capable of performing transparently and hiding via packet dropping. However, unlike bridges, the Lucent router is specific to TCP/IP and does not filter protocols.

Minimum platform requirements


  • VeriSign Digital ID

  • Netscape Enterpriser Server 3.5.1

  • Netscape Communicator 4.05 with patch AWT 1.1

  • Any 170 MHz processor

  • Hard Disk Drive of 4 GB

  • CD ROM Drive

  • 3.5 Floppy Drive Backup

  • Solaris SPARC 2.5.1 with 103566-08, 103600-03, 103640-08 or higher versions of patches

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader for the documentation

  • Interface


    Lucent's Graphic User Interface (GUI) is provided by a Java servlet. The firewall has no console and interactivity mechanism but it includes four 10/100 Ethernet interfaces. As it does not adapt to other network types, administrators will have to use routers to adapt data link types to Ethernet. The management workstation runs on Windows NT and Solaris. Lucent IPSec client for Windows NT & 9x allows remote users access to the firewall. Any Java enabled web browser can access this workstation. You won't need to configure the firewall much as it is transparent to the information flow. The interface is sophisticated but its evaluation edition is not provided on website, in case you want to see.

    Security features


    Inferno daemons

    Inferno daemons are independent services running on the firewall. They implement various security features including stateful inspection filter, Network Address Translator (NAT), user authentication and Virtual Private Network (VPN). Thus, information from only trustworthy sources flows in the network. IP addresses are automatically transferred to their legal addresses. The Inferno daemons performing these functions are discussed below.

  • Administrative daemon- It establishes all authenticated sessions with the Security Management Server. The management interface is enabled by this daemon only.

  • End user authentication daemon- It performs user authentication as well as encryption services.

  • Filter daemon- It executes NAT and other filtering processes.

  • Logging daemon- It receives messages from the above three daemons and transmits them to the SMS desktop.

  • High reliability

    The firewall loads the operating system and the security policy from floppy disk. For subsequent boots, Lucent Managed Firewall then writes it to non-volatile flash memory. The floppy drive is used only for operating system updates and initial configurations. Power switch and fan are the only other moving parts in the package. The configuration, as a whole, is very reliable. The functions do not stop and a high performance is sustained.

    Security policy zones

    Unlimited security policy zones are supported by Lucent. All these are independently managed and accounted. Thus, the firewall is highly effective in implementing security services. It also supports real time monitoring tools for each zone wherein alerts are mailed to the administrator when an event is detected. There are varying privilege levels for users and a 'super administrator' controls all. Due to the presence of zoning feature, the ISPs provide value added services as well.

    Pricing & support


    To purchase this firewall, visit the official website of Lucent. It costs $16,000 for the firewall software, the firewall itself and the documentation. If you want only the software, you will have to pay $9000. Similarly, if you want only the hardware, pay $9000. No evaluation edition is provided for customers. A 24x7 customer support is given via telephone and internet.

    Review


    The firewall operates at very high speeds with negligible latency. It is highly effective and secure but it lacks some features like content filters to manage the application layer. This does not affect the performance much. The good thing about the firewall is that you can customize your package, a feature which is not available in many firewalls. You can buy hardware/software or both, as per your need, and bring down the overall cost.

    Read NetGuard Guardian NCC - A stateful inspection filter for network security


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