Today we announced the launch of FireMon Nexus.

FireMon Nexus is an online community where engineers can find, download, review and publish extensions for FireMon. It is also a space where engineers can share their ideas on how to address common problems of emerging threats, technology solutions and ideas for new FireMon extensions to help better manage their security.

This community is several years in the making.  Back in 2004, we released a very early version of “plug-ins” to FireMon for Audit Checks.  A couple years later, we greatly enhanced that functionality by using the concept of Normalized configurations, meaning that an extension written for one kind of firewall (say a Check Point firewall) could run against the configuration of a different kind of firewall (say Cisco or Juniper).  And again in 2009, we took it another step further by exposing all FireMon analysis engines to the user.

In this time, hundreds of Extensions have been written by a broad group of people including Secure Passage, customers and partners.  But we didn’t have a great way to share all these Extensions that had been created.  Until now, customers simply would ask support if something existed that could do “X”.  In many cases it did, in some cases it was a small tweak to an existing Extension and sometimes it was a brand new and cool idea that led to the creation of a new Extension.

So, for the past couple of years, the idea of a community was floating around in my head.  It is something I have wanted to launch for years.  Sharing Extensions was just a part of it.  I also wanted to open up the community of “ideas”.  We hear great ideas from our customers all the time.  These are the experts in the field managing the biggest and most complex networks in the world.  They know what they need.  They have great ideas on solutions.  Imagine the power if we can bring those into one place.  Where ideas can not only start, but can grow with input from other experts.  Where those same ideas can be turned into solutions.  And where those solutions can be downloaded and run inside of FireMon with just a few clicks of the mouse.  No upgrades.  Just plug it in and go.

My vision is this:

Bring together the knowledge and expertise of the brightest engineers and combine it with the data and analysis engines in FireMon to create solutions to real problems.

So, I am very excited about this announcement.  I am even more excited about the future of Nexus.