Centauris: QKD enhanced Ethernet Encryptors

Thursday 11 June 2009

Centauris is a commercial ultra high-speed Layer 2 encryption appliance family that is compatible with QKD. It implements the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and provides wire-speed secure communications with low latency and no packet expansion. It supports four protocols:
- Ethernet (up to 10 Gbps),
- Fiber Channel (up to 4 Gbps),
- SONET SDH (up to 10 Gbps) and
- ATM (up to 622 Mbps).

PNG - 49.5 kb
Centauris encryptor

Advantages of encrypting at the Layer 2 of the OSI

The word layer refers to the way in which network communication systems are designed. For example: Layer 1 is the physical layer (wire, cables, connectors etc), Layer 2 is the data link layer (eg Ethernet frames) and Layer 3 is the network layer (eg IP packets). The challenge lies in maintaining the performance and simplicity of high-speed networks while assuring the security and privacy of user data, whether it is a voice, data or video transmission. Layer 2 encryption is often referred to as a bump in the wire technology. This expression conveys the simplicity, maintainability and performance benefits of Layer 2 solutions that are designed to be transparent to end-users with little or no performance impact on network throughput

Layer 2 encryption has nearly no overhead and allows the use of the entire bandwidth. Latency is constant and in the range of 10 microseconds. Layer 2 encryption ensures protection of all traffic on the network. We can actually talk about network protection. In the case of encryption at Layer3, only the IP traffic is protected. This explains why encryption at Layer 2 is the solution of choice when network performance and security are critical.

More information on the Centauris product family is available from the following link.

More information on the Ethernet Centauris encryptor is available from the following link.

Currently Centauris is commercially available in a point-to-point QKD enhanced solution.

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