FIPS 140-2, KEMP Load Balancers, and How to Save the Government a Half Million Dollars

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FIPS 140-2 sounds like something from Star Wars denoting some particular class of droid, but it has a much more practical impact on the world, especially if you’re working in IT in a government department. It’s the standard the US Federal Government uses to assess computer cryptographic security.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 140-2, FIPS PUB 140-2, is a U.S. government computer security standard used to accredit cryptographic modules. The title is Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules. Initial publication was on May 25, 2001 and was last updated December 3, 2002.

This is basically the US Government setting a minimum requirement for federal agency security. Or more precisely setting up a procedure for testing specific devices to ensure they are of that standard.

For many US Government bodies and agencies, there is a requirement for them to use FIPS 140-2 Level 2. Not having it can cause them to get a hard time from the central government and it can affect budget approvals and other horrible things. This can have a huge effect on agency performance and create a cycle of missed targets and further budget problems in the future.

There are also many government agencies in Canada and Europe that use this standard and the same issues apply.

KEMP LoadMAster 5305 FIPS

We’ve been looking at this market from the outside for quite some time, and we’ve noticed that many of the solutions being provided, while being excellent, do not provide great value and thought we could do something to change that.

With that, we’re proud to announce the launch of our LoadMaster 5305 FIPS unit. The new load balancer is equipped with a Level-2 Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) certified hardware security module (HSM) to assure secure handling of SSL certificates. Like all members of the LoadMaster family, the LM 5305 FIPS offers high-performance and provides optimal throughput at less than 50% of the cost of other top load balancing and application delivery controller vendors while delivering on the same security requirements.

Iain Kenney, director of product management here at KEMP Technologies had this to say on the FIPS product launch, “Federal government agencies and U.S. military organizations can now take advantage of the best-of-breed security associated with FIPS, integrated into a KEMP Technologies LoadMaster product. The LM 5305 FIPS reflects KEMP’s commitment to meeting security requirements combined with industry-leading performance at an affordable price point.”

The difference between KEMP and our competitors, is the huge difference in the price point. Choosing KEMP as your Load Balancer & ADC supplier guarantees you retain the same level of technology, security and support in addition to serious cost savings. One leading Load Balancer suppliers public price point for their FIPS unit is over $80,000, the KEMP unit will be priced in the $30,000 range. A staggering difference that we feel puts KEMP on top of the Price/Performance pyramid in this category.

How to save the US Government a Half Million Dollars

The US Federal government is huge and one of the largest consumers of technology in the world. The server and bandwidth requirements of even a single department are enormous. But let’s imagine, for a moment, that all of the government’s infrastructure was handled by just 10 load balancers. That’s all, just 10.

Lets do some maths

(Competitor price $80k – KEMP Price $30k) x 10 = $500,000

These numbers above are rounded to make it easier and obviously you can extrapolate this out to a much larger number, but as you can see the cost savings start to stack up very fast. The point is well made.

If you’re a government body under increasing security pressure and savage budget constraints, can you really afford not to be in a conversation with us about your load balancing technology?

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Kemp Technologies