Performance is critical when evaluating data center intrusion-prevention systems (DCIPS), which face significantly higher traffic volumes than traditional IPSes.

A typical IPS is deployed at the corporate network perimeter to protect end-user activity, while a DCIPS sits inline, inside the data center perimeter, to protect data-center servers and the applications that run on them. That requires a DCIPS to keep pace with traffic from potentially hundreds of thousands of users who are accessing large applications in a server farm, says NSS Labs, which recently tested five DCIPS products in the areas of security, performance and total cost of ownership.

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