On Wednesday, Cisco unveiled a number of solutions to secure the data center. The suite of products include an upgrade to the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) line; virtualized ASA for multitenant environments; a data-center-grade intrusion prevention system (IPS); and new improvements to the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. The goal is to extend network policies across physical and virtual environments, and from machine to machine. The new additions also help secure access to applications by mobile and wired devices. "For enterprises to confidently seize the business benefits offered by data center virtualization and the cloud, security must be seen as the art of the possible, not as a hindrance,” Christopher Young, senior vice president and general manager of Security and Government Group for Cisco, said in a statement. “As with the rest of your network, we make consistent security a deployment decision that enables policies to work throughout hybrid environments—physical, virtual and cloud—and enables data center professionals to deliver IT as a service with a high degree of security without impeding network performance." The upgrade to the Cisco ASA platform to version 9.0 was described as a major update to the operating system, powering a rage of Cisco products including appliances, blades and virtual. The upgrade now supports up to 320 Gbits/s of firewall data and 60 Gbps IPS throughput, including 1 million connections per second and 50 million concurrent connections. Scaling is achieved through clustering technology, which allows IT to manage a stack of ASAs as a single logical device, Cisco said. Cisco also announced the Cisco ASA 1000V, an ASA firewall designed for multitenant virtual and cloud environments which runs on top of the Cisco Nexus 1000V switch and complements the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway for end-to-end security for virtual and cloud infrastructure, Cisco said. It can apply different security policies across multiple ESX hosts. Cisco also launched the Cisco IPS 4500, a new intrusion prevention system designed for data centers. The IPS 4500 lives inside a 2RU rack, and monitors up to 10 Gbits per second per rack. Cisco AnyConnect 3.1, by contrast, was designed to secure remote access to company resources by remote devices. It offers differentiated device access to help enable BYOD deployments, IPv6 capability and the latest Next Generation Encryption, including NSA's Suite B cryptography, Cisco claimed. It’s all managed by Cisco Security Manager 4.3, which will manage Cisco ASA 5500 and 5500-X Series Adaptive Security Appliances; Cisco IPS 4200, 4300 and 4500 Series Sensor Appliances; the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client; and Cisco Secure Routers, the company said.   Image: Andrea Danti/Shutterstock.com