Switch Management

The FireRack Management Server is capable of managing switches from Cisco, 3Com, Allied Telesyn and other manufactures.

HP and Cisco Switches

One of the most important areas to consider in managing a large network is segmentation, typically utilising VLANs (or Virtual LANs). FireRack firewalls provide very effective firewalling between VLANs, enabling the selective segmentation of these networks.

In response to our customers needs to have close integration between their firewall and switch management, we have developed a switch management module for the FireRack Management Server (FMS).

Supported Hardware

Any switch that can be managed by SNMP and that uses the industry standard for VLANs (802.1Q), can potentially be managed by the FireRack Management Server (FMS).

So far this module has been used to configure switches provided by the following vendors:

  • HP/3Com
  • Cisco
  • Allied Telesyn
  • Netgear

Synergies between firewalls and switches

Typically a firewall is only deployed at the network perimeter. In networks that utilise VLANs to achieve network segmentation, a firewall such as FireRack may be used to police the traffic moving between these segments.

Obviously this means that there must be close coordination between switch configuration, firewall rules and routing. A FireRack firewall and FMS combined provide all of this management through a single user interface.

An ordinary firewall deployed between VLANs can't police traffic between two hosts in the same VLAN. By tightly integrating firewalling, routing and switch management (as FireRack does) this becomes possible.

A FireRack firewall can interpose itself between machines in the same subnet by instantaneously reconfiguring the network. A single host that as been singled out for closer inspection can be moved into a different VLAN to the rest of the network and the FireRack will seamlessly re-link it to the main VLAN while inspecting and/or filtering the traffic.

For more information on this module, please see our switch management documentation.

See also: