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Sun plays safe with Linux device

The server giant teams with security-application maker Check Point Software to produce a standalone firewall-and-VPN appliance based around Linux.

Sun Microsystems has teamed up with firewall maker Check Point Software to offer a security appliance based on Linux, the companies announced Monday.

The new product, the Sun LX50 Firewall/VPN appliance, runs a version of the open-source operating system with enhanced security. Using firewall and virtual private network (VPN) software from Israeli-based Check Point, the appliance is designed to protect business networks and communications.

Built on Sun's LX50 Intel-based server, the new security product supports Check Point's Open Platform for Security (OPSEC) specification that allows it to integrate with products from other software and hardware makers.

Last February, Sun surprised many industry watchers when it announced it would start selling servers based on Linux. At LinuxWorld in August, the company showed off the LX50, the first server in the line. The x86-based computer supports both Linux and Sun's flagship operating system, Solaris 9.

Sun plans to unveil the new network security device at the Comdex Fall 2002 trade show during a keynote speech by Sun CEO Scott McNealy.

The new device will be available beginning January 2003, with a starting price of $3,300.