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Security Evolves at SC15

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This week, Dell is participating in SC15, in Austin, Nov.16-20, a show that brings together scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, programmers, system administrators and developers from the international supercomputing community. I’ve been involved with SC for years, but am particularly excited about this year’s show, which will highlight some of our Dell Security solutions.

The inclusion of our security solutions at SC15 is only the latest iteration in the evolution of the show’s security. I began my work with the show in 2005 as part of the SC Network Security team. At that time, security was more experimental. Over the years, through the sustained work from a number of participants, the show’s security has shifted to become more visionary in nature. That is particularly true of the security systems deployed at this year’s show.

For example, for the first time, the show will leverage our industry-leading Firewall Sandwich architecture, built on Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive 9800 next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). In our Firewall Sandwich network design, we combine our SuperMassive NGFW with our Dell S5000 switches to provide a network-based scale-out security layer to deliver 100Gbps of deep packet inspection (DPI) performance while providing highest security efficacy and n+1 resiliency and overcome the challenges posed by an ever-increasing amount of content and applications.   

One of the biggest challenges for organizations leveraging high-speed connections is to secure these connections without latency. At SC15, a number of exhibitors require high-speed connections, making this issue front and center for the show.  Due to this issue, we leverage firewalls in a manner different than most organizations.  First, we are using Dell’s Firewall Sandwich to monitor traffic only, but not to block it.  We examine all the traffic for security related events, such as hosts that have been compromised. 

Based on the alerts received, we do two things.  First, we work with the attendees or exhibitors affected in order to help them recover.  At the same time, recognizing that the exhibitors might have running demos and not be able to have any downtime, we provide a quarantine service via a Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive 9800 where these exhibitors can continue running their demos but are not able to connect anywhere except for back to their home institutions, thus protecting the rest of the conference as well as the Internet at large.

Another function we are providing is to use the SuperMassive to monitor the Student Cluster Challenge, confirming that students keep the competition honest – no attacking competitors or accessing unauthorized resources for assistance.

Our security solutions will be showcased in the Network Operations Center (NOC) at the show. We also invite you to see Dell’s incredible high-performance computing and networking solutions in booth #1009 at the show. Please stop by both areas of the show to see our solutions in action.

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