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Curious about Advanced Security Appliances, Virtual switches, and evolution of the Security topology

The title sort of says it all.

I happen to be interested in hardware (and software) solutions for security in a network. I've also wondered how the location of devices in a network affects their efficacy.

Since I'm buiding a nearly home-brew lab that will cover topics of R&S, Voice, Wireless, and Security, I'm really curious what the best topology would be needed.

Finally, how likely will virtualization become the "normal way" of handling security within an enterprise? In other words, are hardware boxes that are dedicated to security on the wane, being replaced by fast servers that do firewalls in software?

Any interest in these topics in this forum?

Thanks,

__Will in San Jose

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