ServGate makes net security less expensive

ServGate last week streamlined the pricing of its multi-service security platforms so customers pay a lower flat price for the hardware and security software no matter how many users they support on it.

Now when customers buy new ServGate EdgeForce appliance, they get unrestricted use of anti-virus software, spam filtering, URL filtering and intrusion detection in addition to firewall and VPN support.

In the past, customers would buy ServGate hardware and firewall/VPN devices and then have to pay extra for the other security applications and license fees to add more users. Now the company’s new EdgeForce 1000 appliance costs US$14,000 while a similarly configured version of its old EdgeForce Accel appliance with equal throughput cost $16,000.

The devices sit between the Internet and corporate networks and perform security screening at a single point.

Servgate differs from competitors such as WatchGuard, Fortinet and Symantec in that it uses third-party security software rather than its own to supply security applications, says Gary Chen, an analyst with the Yankee Group. The company uses McAfee for anti-virus and anti-spam and SurfControl for Web filtering. On Dec. 15, it will add CA as an anti-virus option, the company says.

Placing all these applications in an appliance rather than on a separate server avoids degrading the performance of the server, says Robert Prince, principal with The Technology Group, a network integrator who uses ServGate gear in client networks and has used it in earlier jobs as a corporate IT professional. “The security applications took up a lot of space and used up a lot of CPU on the server,” he says.

Along with the new pricing comes a new set of hardware for EdgeForce devices. The five new platforms are called EdgeForce M30, M100, M200, M400 and M1000, and range in throughput from 75M bit/sec to 1G bit/sec, which is the same range as its earlier gear, but are no hardware-enhancement ptions.

Next year the devices will have an extra WAN port so customers can hook the machines up to two different ISP access lines for redundancy. This feature is attractive to businesses that require reliable Internet access, says Prince, and other vendors charge extra for a second port.

Its previous hardware had acceleration cards and hard drives that came as optional features that cost extra, but the new devices have fixed configurations.

Customers buy a box and it has all the features and software. Customers deal only with ServGate for licensing the third-party applications, and can buy update service via ServGate’s Web portal.

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