A new technology known as Cut-Through Proxy authenticates users at the application layer, alleviating extensive packet processing and speeding up performance in the Pix Firewall 3.0.
Similar to current failover server clustering schemes, the new version features redundancy through a Failover-Hot Standby technology that lets the functions of one Pix Firewall switch to a backup box if there is a hardware failure. It also includes network cards for increased security in private networks that support the Data Encryption Standard.
Cisco's IOS--internetworking operating system--offers security features and supports the latest Pix Firewall as well.
The Pix Firewall is available now with prices starting at $9,000. The standalone box supports from 32 to more than 16,000 simultaneous TCP connections. A Pix Firewall PrivateLink encryption card costs $3,000.