Metamako Launches Low-Latency Firewall System

Metamako, the acknowledged leader in the low-latency, FPGA-enabled network solutions space, has now entered the security space with the announcement of its MetaProtect Firewall solution.

The powerful 48-port (x10GbE) network appliance is designed to deliver new levels of ultra-fast firewall protection through packet filtering and logging. It is ideal for situations where a firewall solution is mandatory but ultra-low latency as well as high port density are required.

Metamakos approach to innovation has established the company as unique in bringing fast, intelligent switching technology to market; the launch of MetaProtect Firewall is set to make similar changes offering security for exchanges, banks and other trading institutions as well as outside of the financial services sector.

Dr Dave Snowdon, founder and CTO of Metamako, said: We have put significant development into our new firewall technology, using our extensive efforts in low-latency switching to improve the performance of these firewall products. As with all things Metamako, it is engineered to do the job required better and faster than anything else out there. Surprisingly, packet filtering technology has suffered from an if it aint broke, dont fix it attitude, which has prevented progress: it is now time for change. Clients have seen the benefits of using our low-latency devices and have asked if we can improve their firewall architecture. We were able to draw on our flexible FPGA platforms and app infrastructure to very quickly build the right product for those customers, and the result isMetaProtect – a low latency firewall.

He adds: Some exchanges in Asia, for example the Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), stipulate that a broker must own and manage a firewall between a clients trading servers and the exchange. The latency penalty that this introduces was a major concern for trading participants. Now that theres an ultra-low latency, high-density firewall solution available, the exchange-facing architecture is far better.

MetaProtect performs packet filtering in 130 nanoseconds, some of the fastest in the industry, as well as providing comprehensive logging capabilities for those filters. It also has flexibility in how it can be configured, including the ability to specify ports which dont need to be filtered, in which case packets are passed through in a staggering 5 nanoseconds.

Key functionality:

  • Ultra-low latency filtering with average latency of 130 nanoseconds (1 rule) to 155 nanoseconds (510 rules) – some of the fastest in the industry
  • Extreme determinism – a tightly bound maximum latency for each configuration.
  • High port density with 48x 10GbE ports and 32x firewall filters
  • Up to 510 rules per port
  • Extensive packet statistics for all ports for advanced network monitoring
  • Comprehensive logging, including logged statistics of permitted and denied packets.

Metamako has accelerated its growth over the past 12 months with its first acquisition, buying the xCelor hardware business, which was announced last month. Being the network solution of choice for financial firms such as electronic traders and exchanges, it is now expanding into new verticals, notably network monitoring and telecommunications, along with data centre and security spaces, with the MetaProtect Firewall clearly marking another step into new markets.