Extreme Networks has updated its suite of security products with two new offerings, after it released an upgrade to its Network Admission Control (NAC) system, and a new policy-management application that allows administrators to better manage large networks.

NAC and secure switching are becoming table stakes in the LAN-switch industry. All of Extreme's major competitors - Cisco, HP ProCurve, Foundry, Enterasys and 3Com - either have NAC initiatives or market themselves as vendors of secure switches.

Extreme's latest offering is Sentriant Access Guard (AG) 5.0. The NAC software supports large networks and numerous end-points with features that centralise the management of multi-server deployments, Extreme said.

Sentriant AG uses a single dedicated management server that controls multiple enforcement servers distributed across buildings or departments. For smaller NAC deployments, a single management server can be deployed that provides embedded enforcement capabilities on one platform, the company said.

For improved scalability and reliability, Sentriant AG now supports load balancing, where the end-point testing load is distributed across all enforcement servers in a cluster. This adds redundancy, so should one server fail, the security policy remains functional, Extreme said.

A new user interface is designed to provide enterprise-scale administration capabilities, where managers can access, view and control all servers and end-point access information from a single management console. A new multi-user, role-based administration feature allows numerous individuals, each with varying rights and responsibilities, to access, manage or view Sentriant AG information, the company said.

Early this year, Extreme updated its ExtremeXOS operating-system software with a feature that stops malicious users from configuring a PC or laptop with a static IP address to circumvent NAC security.

The new Extreme Policy Manager (EPM) tool is client-based software designed to create security policies and rules, and ease management of access-control lists (ACLs). EPM supports Extreme's BlackDiamond and Summit switches.

EPM's GUI presents security wizards that support searching, sorting, change control and rule import/export. For ACLs, it also performs a series of automated dependency, rule and validation checks designed to remove potential conflicts and ensure accuracy.

Sentriant AG 5.0 is available this week. EPM is available now for licensed customers.

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