Indus River fortifies remote VPN gear

Indus River Networks Inc. last month announced five new hardware products for providing centralized management of site-to-site VPNs and remote clients, and faster secure tunnel connections.

Indus River’s new Aurorean VPN product line includes three VPN gateway products for small, midsize and large offices, and two policy management servers for managing remote VPN clients and gateway devices. Users can now set up a site-to-site VPN by deploying a single device that will link multiple branch offices and let them manage and configure all remote devices from a central location. The new gateways also provide encrypted tunnel connections at up to twice the speed of previous Indus River products.

The ANG-7000 is designed to sit in a central site and support up to 5,000 VPN connections from remote users and branch offices. The midrange ANG-3000 supports up to 500 VPN tunnels and is aimed at smaller central offices, or branch offices that connect to an ANG-7000 in a central site. Small office or home office users can securely connect up to 25 tunnels with a central site by putting an ANG-1000 at the edge of their network.

The ANG-7000 can provide up to 40Mbps of Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple-DES), which is double the speed of Indus River’s previous high-end product, Riverworks Tunnel Server 5000, says Dave Zwicker, vice-president of marketing for Indus River.

Two Aurorean Policy Servers are also part of the new product line. The APS-7000 and APS-3000 can support up to 20,000 and 10,000 VPN connections, respectively. The servers are used to set user access rules for remote VPN clients and to automatically distribute VPN client software. The servers can also be used to distribute configuration settings for ANG-7000s and 3000s across multiple sites.

The Aurorean gateway products replace Indus River’s Riverworks Tunnel Server and Management Server products. Previously, both devices were required at each point in a site-to-site VPN, Zwicker says.

“We’re now putting stand-alone devices out [at remote sites] to terminate site-to-site tunnels, but still having those [connections] be centrally managed,” he says. “The goal here is that the network support staff at a central site never has to go out and physically install and bring up the [VPN].”

Zwicker notes the Aurorean gateways and policy servers are compatible with the Riverworks devices, which will still be supported and sold.

The Aurorean VPN gateways and policy servers are the first products released by Indus River since the company was bought by Enterasys Networks in September for US$170 million in stock. Finalization of the merger is still pending government approval.

Enterasys Networks acquired Indus River to fill a VPN product gap in its lineup of network infrastructure equipment for corporations.

“This will give [Enterasys] a solid product line to compete with against Nortel Networks and Cisco,” in the VPN market, says Joel Conover, an analyst with Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va.

While the Aurorean products should help boost Enterasys’ VPN position, Conover says the products are still a little behind some competitors’ in terms of performance.

“[Indus River] claims 40Mbos of Triple-DES, but some of their competitors claim quite a bit more – such as Cisco, which has benchmarked between 60Mbps and 80Mbps,” on its VPN 3000 Series products it acquired from Altiga Networks Inc., he says.

Indus River is selling the Aurorean gateway and policy servers together in product bundles for midsize and large businesses. The Aurorean Virtual Network 7000 bundle includes an ANG-7000, an APS-7000 and unlimited client software licenses, and costs US$30,000. For US$17,000, the 3000 bundle includes an ANG-3000, APS-3000 and unlimited software licenses. Stand-alone ANG-7000s and 3000s can be purchased for US $13,000 and US$8,500, respectively, and the low-end ANG-1000 costs US$650. All products will be available in December.

Indus River is at; Enterasys Networks is at