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Hybrid gateway appliance offers flexible configuration

Jul 7, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

ClearCenter announced a line of Linux-based hybrid gateway appliances claimed to replace “an entire rack of separate server, network, and gateway equipment.” The ClearBox 100 Hybrid Gateway Appliance products are built around a 1.6GHz, dual-core Intel Atom D510, and comes with 1GB or 2GB of RAM, a 250GB or 500GB HDD, four gigabit Ethernet ports, and optional Wi-Fi.

The ClearBox 100 is billed as a secure server, network, and gateway hybrid solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Applications are said to include content filtration, intrusion detection, antivirus, antispam, firewall, and VPN services. The system can also provide file, email, web, print, and database services, says ClearCenter.

ClearBox 150

Integrating both on-premise and cloud-based services, the ClearBox 100 features the company's Linux-based ClearOS management tools, which include a web management interface for server configuration, says the company. Among other claimed benefits, ClearOS can manage a company's Google Apps account and integrate with user settings system-wide.

The system is touted for its configuration flexibility, enabling options including a standard networking appliance, a gateway, and a content filter. By combining units, users can configure the system for multiple mission-critical failover modes, says ClearCenter. The various scenarios are shown in the images below.

ClearBox 100 in standard configuration …

… gateway configuration … 

… and as an inline transparent content filter

All three models in the ClearBox 100 line are built around a dual-core Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.6GHz. (The company also offers a ClearBox 300 series, ranging from $1,199 to $2,399, featuring Intel Pentium and Core processors.)

The entry-level ClearBox 110 model is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 RAM and a 256GB SATA hard disk drive (HDD). The ClearBox 130 and 150 models offer 2GB of RAM plus a 500GB HDD, says ClearCenter.

The 110 supports 50 users, while the latter two models can handle 100 users, says the company. The 150 model is said to be further differentiated by offering 802.11n Wi-Fi via PCI Express.

All three systems offer four gigabit Ethernet ports with LAN bypass, as well as a console port, says the company. Other features are said to include dual USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, LEDs, and a reset button.

The 7.1 x 5.9 x 1.65-inch box can be rackmounted with an optional kit and handle temperatures from 32 to 158 deg. F, says ClearCenter. The company says the device's 44-Watt power consumption compares favorably with the "typical 600 Watts" of an average server.

Mission-critical gateway set-up, with backup system

Features and specifications listed for the ClearBox 100 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom D510 (dual-core, 1.6GHz)
  • Chipset — Intel ICH8-M
  • Memory — 1GB DDR2 (110); 2GB DDR2 (130, 150)
  • Storage — 256GB SATA HDD (110); 500GB SATA HDD (130, 150)
  • Display — VGA port
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 4 x gigabit Ethernet ports with LAN bypass; RJ45 console port
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g/n via PCI Express (150 only); antennas available
  • Other I/O: 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Other features — Ethernet, bypass, and power LEDs; reset and power switches; optional rackmount kit
  • Power consumption — 44 Watts
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 7.1 x 5.9 x 1.65 inches (180 x 150 x 42mm)

Stated ClearCenter CEO Michael Proper, "ClearCenter has given organizations a way to reduce costs associated with capital purchases of needed IT hardware because the ClearBOX 100 consolidates most every needed business service on a single hardware device."


The ClearBox 100 Hybrid Gateway Appliance line is available now, directly from or from a wide range of ClearCenter partners and resellers. Pricing is as follows: $899 (110), $999 (130), and $1,099 (150). More information may be found at the company's ClearBox 100 site.

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