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Enterprises demand a lot of their data centers, which makes their performance and availability paramount. Infrastructure and application architectures are designed to work in concert with each other, thus any incorrectly sized or configured components can disrupt applications for employees or customers. Network security technology is essential in a data center architecture, providing connectivity, and in some cases, traffic inspection or special handling to protect critical assets.

NSS Labs uses the term data center network security (DCNS) to describe devices that provide network security for the data center. There are several device types in this category; the data center firewall (DCFW) and the data center intrusion prevention system (DCIPS) are the most well-known, each having been deployed for a number of years. A third type of device combines the capabilities of the DCFW and DCIPS and is referred to as a data center security gateway (DCSG).

Data center security gateways are the convergence of data center security capabilities, and as such, provide a vital role in today’s security infrastructure. The DCSG must be capable of performing deep packet inspection on all packets and ports and over all protocols in order to determine which applications are running over which ports and thus secure them effectively. High availability, low latency, and fault tolerance are mission-critical.

What We Tested

NSS Labs’ Data Center Security Gateway (DCSG) Group Test evaluates market-leading DCSG products on their security effectiveness, performance, stability and reliability, and total cost of ownership (TCO). The test provides Comparative Reports and individual Test Reports to help enterprises make informed decisions to evolve and rationalize their cyber risk programs.