[VPN] Nokia Crypto Cluster 500 VPN appliance

Joel Snyder Joel.Snyder at Opus1.COM
Fri Mar 7 22:20:51 EST 2003

Jennifer Cronin wrote:
 > Is this new or old?  I have never heard of it before and want to know 
 > what
 > you think of it if you use it.

The Nokia Cryptocluster series was a high availability, high 
performance, clusterable VPN solution that Nokia produced for about 2 
years; you may also see it called "Network Alchemy," the name of the 
company that Nokia acquired.

Although the boxes are old, they are highly functional and manageable in 
a site-to-site environment.  Nokia gave away the VPN Policy Manager to 
control the systems, and it was one of the first GUIs to actually deal 
with full-mesh and hub-and-spoke VPNs effectively.  For site-to-site 
VPNs, they are basically state-of-the-art even today and should give 
solid performance.

For remote access, the Cryptocluster series never really met the bar set 
by products such as the Cisco 3000 (Altiga), Checkpoint Firewall-1, 
Netscreen, or Avaya.  Nokia developed a policy management and 
distribution tool, but never got it to market.

The CC500 in single-node configuration will give you about 5Mbps 
3DES/SHA1 encryption and closer to 11 Mbps doing AES.  It tends to scale 

If I were building a site-to-site VPN today, and I didn't need firewall 
capabilities or remote access features for more than a small number 
(<500) users, I'd consider the Cryptocluster series a pretty good 
chohice.  If you need firewall or large scale remote access, it's 
probably better to pick a different platform.

Nokia built thousands of them, so they're often readily available on 
eBay at very competitive prices.

We have a cluster of CC2500s (a bigger brother to the CC500s) in 
production use at our site for VPN functionality, with two remote sites 
protected by CC500 clusters, and I don't have any immediate plans to 
pull them out.  They're working very nicely.


Joel M Snyder, 1404 East Lind Road, Tucson, AZ, 85719
Phone: +1 520 324 0494 (voice)  +1 520 324 0495 (FAX)
jms at Opus1.COM    http://www.opus1.com/jms    Opus One

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