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April 02, 2007

Finally, we give you - Cobia!

Cobia For some time now Mitchell and I have been hinting and beating around the edges about the next "big thing" that we have been working on at StillSecure.  Today we finally make public the worst kept secret on the Internet and give you: COBIA!.  You can read more about it here

As Mitchell has written COBIA is a Unified Network Platform (UNP).  It is a modular, open platform that will combine networking functionality with security built into a single platform.  With todays announcement, Cobia is only in beta. The version you can download and play today with has only a limited amount of the functionality we will be building into the product.  The diagram below shows more of the vision of what Cobia will be.


COBIA represents a lot of hard work of many people here at StillSecure.  Originally, the brainchild of our CEO Rajat Bhargava, Mitchell has been the GM as the product went into development.  Martin McKeay will be the product evangelist for COBIA. We have assembled a great team of folks on this product and we are all very, very excited.  Please have a look at it and give us your feedback.

COBIA incorporates several trends that we think will allow it to find wide acceptance in the market.  They are:

1. Convergence of networking and security.  Cobia will allow a wide range of network functions and security applications to be run off of one box.  In fact we anticipate commercial networks placing multiple Cobia boxes throughout their network, each one with a different line up of applications running depending on where they are in the network.  All of these boxes can be managed centrally.  The Cobia GUI is designed to deliver one interface management for all of this functionality as well as allowing 3rd party applications to go out to their own GUIs.  The time of point security and network solutions is drawing to an end. UTM was fine beginning, but the let the era of true convergence begin!

2. Open Source - COBIA is released under a StillSecure community license.  It is a dual licensed open source model.  It is free to use and you get source code for use on your own networks.  The gist of the dual license is that if you are reselling COBIA, you should be under the commercial license. You can check out the license in full at the COBIA site at http://cobia.stillsecure.com.  If you have any questions please let me know.  We are looking forward to working with and supporting a wide community of Cobia users.  You don't have to buy anything to be part of the community.

One of the things I am excited by with the open source model, is the ability for ISVs, other software companies and individuals to develop and extend the platform.  There is no telling where this innovation may take the product. The StillSecure business development team is looking to work with others that would like to port their applications or develop for the Cobia platform.  Please contact me if you are interested.  We would love to see a Snort port to Cobia for instance.

3. Off the shelf hardware - Cobia does not require any special hardware.  Though we may enter agreements to sell Cobia pre-installed on hardware boxes and some of it may be optimized for the platform, Cobia should run on any hardware that supports Linux.  No paying a premium for a fancy bezel, download the software, put it on your box and have at it. 

Also, Cobia can run in a virtual machine, as well as a mobile management interface.  I will be writing more about Cobia over the coming days and weeks I am sure.  But just taking the wraps off of it, is exciting for us.  We hope you find it as exciting as we do.

Thanks to everyone (a cast of thousands) who have helped us with bringing Cobia to this point. We could not have done this without you!


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