Industrial Ethernet firewalls can be configured offline

Paul Boughton
Belden is releasing an upgrade of its Hirschmann Eagle20 software. New Eagle20 v4.4 software will be installed on all newly-bought Hirschmann devices and be available free of charge for existing customers.
One of the key new features of Hirschmann Eagle20 v4.4 is off-line configuration. 'Virtual' devices can be configured using a PC and this configuration can later be downloaded to real devices. Mark Cooksley, product manager for network security, comments: "This is a first for industrial Ethernet firewalls."
Klaus Reister, head of development for HMI and Testlab, adds: "The Hirschmann Eagle20 web interface is superior to competitive products. It is intuitive, user friendly, logically laid out, includes wizards for more complex tasks and has a hypertext index to find where to configure specific functionality. We have taken this product web interface and made it available as a java application running on a PC. You can open the application and it looks like you are connected to a real device. You can configure all the required parameters, and then save the 'config file.' This 'config file' can later be loaded on to a real Eagle20."
The key benefit is that it is possible to configure the network security without having the actual devices. Up until now, a reseller or end customer would have to take the devices out of the boxes, power them up, connect them together, configure them, then put them back in the boxes and ship or move them. This is no longer necessary. In this way, installation engineers can spend as little time as possible on-site.
Cooksley continues: "For a network engineer, on-site hardware configuration during network commissioning can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. The off-line configuration application alleviates this problem, resulting in faster network installation. In addition, reduced configuration errors culminate in higher network availability."
In addition to offline configuration, Eagle20 v4.4 offers a number of new advanced security features such as one-to-one NAT inside a VPN and VPNs without certificates.
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