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Multi-core firewall boasts multi-gigabit throughput

Mar 26, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

Lanner Electronics has introduced a network appliance platform claimed capable of network throughputs up to 2Gbps. The MR-550 is available with one or two Cavium Octeon 3120 processors, each featuring 1-2 MIPS64 cores along with acceleration engines for encryption, QoS, networking, and TCP.

(Click for larger view of the Lanner MR-550)

Designed for the entry-level unified threat management (UTM) appliance market, the MR-550 is available with a 500MHz Octeon CN3120 processor equipped with one or two MIPS64 cores. The 1U rackmountable MR-550 can be stocked with up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, and offers CompactFlash and hard-drive storage options, says Lanner. It is equipped with three combo RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet/SPF Fibre ports and two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet management ports. There are also two USB ports, a serial port, and PCI/MiniPCI expansion, and the appliance is said to support algorithms including AES-GCM and SHA-2 (up to SHA-512).

MR-550 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The MR-550's industrial design and packaging is fully customizable, says Lanner. Additionally, the CN3120 can be swapped out for another CN31xx family processor.

Cavium's Octeon line of network services processors are intended for application level (OSI Layers 3 to 7) content and security processing at wire speeds, the company says. The Octeon architecture integrates multiple MIPS64-compatible cores along with on-chip packet and crypto processing engines, and boasts a 640Gbps low-latency interconnect.

Cavium CN3120 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

Cavium Networks provides a software development kit (SDK) along with the CN3120 that includes a MontaVista Linux kernel, GNU tool-chain, GDB debugger, and third-party products aimed at streamlining ports of MIPS32, MIPS64, and other C/C++ applications to the Octeon architecture.

The following are the listed specs for the MR-500:

  • Processor — 500MHz Cavium Octeon CN3120-SCP with 1 or 2 cores (other CN31xx processors optional)
  • Memory — up to 4GB DDR2 (533MHz or 400MHz) via 2 x 240P DIMM sockets; 16MB NOR boot flash
  • Flash memory — 1 x CompactFlash Type II
  • Storage — 1 x 3.5-inch hard drive bay; 2 x ATA interface; 1 x IDE interface
  • Networking — 3 x Gigabit Ethernet/Fibre combo ports; 2 x PCI Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Networking controllers — Vitesse VSC8224 (Quad GigE PHY); Intel 82541 PI GbE
  • PCI Expansion — 1 x PCI; 1 x MiniPCI
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0
  • Serial — 1 x RJ-45 console
  • Dimensions — 17 x 1.7 x 10.7 inches (431 x 44 x 273 mm)
  • Weight — 11 lbs (5 kg)
  • Power — AC [email protected]~60Hz; 180W consumption
  • Operating system — MontaVista Linux (or other compatible Linux distro); Wind River VxWorks


The MR-550 is available today at an undisclosed price, says Lanner. It will be demonstrated at the RSA Conference on April 8-10 at the San Francisco Moscone Center in booth 2744. More information may be available here.

Recently, Lanner introduced a somewhat similar network security appliance based on Cavium's CN38xx or CN58xx network processors.

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