Kerio Control 7.2 adds true quality of service

Kerio Technologies’ unified threat management software has offered a bandwidth limiter for some time, giving IT administrators the ability to restrain to some degree the differing traffic demands users place on their network.

It came under the category of Kerio Control’s “quality of service” functions, but even James Gudeli, the company’s vice-president of business development admits the functionality was limited.

On Tuesday the San Jose, Calif.-based firm said that version 7.2 of the software comes with full QoS to better oversee the bandwidth of organizations.

“It lets you optimize what you want and to minimize what you don’t,” Gudeli said in an interview.

Not only can administrators set priorities on the type of traffic going through the firewall, it can also be managed by groups and even individuals. The software can even create bandwidth “quotas” for staff. If exceeded, Control throttles back their network speed.

Among the options are the ability to give priority to packets marked with DSCP (Differentiated Services Code Point) values.

Finally, it can give priority to SIP voice-over-IP traffic.

True QoS capabilities in Control have been sought for some time by many of the medium- and small-sized organizations that buy Control, said Gudeli. They often find the network usage of staff outstrips the bandwidth, forcing them to tightly restrict Web sites staff can go to or the size of files they can transmit.

With the expanded QoS capabilities they’ll be better able to manage that bandwidth.

In addition, the new version has new tools for reporting network traffic statistics to let administrators better set bandwidth limits.

Version 7.2 of Control also comes with support for Apple Open Directory, which will appeal to organizations with both Windows and Macintosh environments. They’ll be able to maintain a single directory both users of both systems.

Pricing hasn’t changed. The base server software for those who want to put Control on their own hardware starts at US$255 for five users. The hardware-based appliances the company sells are priced higher because they come with more security features.

Kerio Control Box 1110, which has a single 1.5 GHz processor, four Ethernet ports and is licenced for 20 users, costs US$1,500. The more powerful Control Box 3110, which has a dual-core 2.6 GHz CPU, eight Ethernet ports and is licenced for 40 users, costs US$2,700. Additional licences can be bought.

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