US-based Netilla Networks on Monday released software that enables secure remote access to Citrix MetaFrame, an enterprise application that allows multiple users to access software from remote terminals.
Netilla claims that its software, the Secure Gateway Appliance-C (SGA-C), is both cheaper and easier to install than Citrix' equivalent software, the Secure Gateway for MetaFrame (CSG). Citrix declined to comment on Netilla's claims.
Reggie Best, the chief executive of Netilla, said that its application was easier to install and maintain because it used the browser protocol SSL to secure the VPN, while Secure Gateway uses IPSec, which requires the installation of software on the client PC.
"You can get SGA-C up and running within 20 minutes," said Best. "It can take weeks to implement CSG and to integrate it properly."
Best also claims that SGA-C is cheaper than competitive offerings: it costs £2,775 for a platform with 25 licences. He said that SGA-C was the first in a series of VPN products, which would support other platforms, including those from Microsoft, as well as providing security for wireless environments.
Jon Oltsik, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said that SGA-C would be attractive to companies using Citrix who faced tough security issues, but would be less attractive for companies with broader security issues.
"If Citrix is your main pain security-wise, this product would be good. If you're facing problems on lots of different platforms then you would probably be looking for a more feature-rich application," he said.
Oltsik said that firewall companies such as Check Point, Juniper Networks and Symantec all now include support for SSL VPNs as part of their technology offerings. However, Oltsik said Netilla's technology could be a good complement to existing firewall software.
"If you have 200 users, of which three are outside the firewall, then it is probably not worth it; but if 150 are outside the firewall then it would be," he said.