'

WatchGuard, Citrix to tackle SMB space

WatchGuard Technologies and Citrix Systems have teamed up to release an SSL VPN gateway solution aimed at undercutting competitors and ousting IP-Sec technology from the Australian mid-market.The move pairs WatchGuard's Firebox hardware platform with Citrix's SSL VPN Secure Access technology to introduce a professional-grade device into a market that the companies say is too often confused and poorly advised about security.

WatchGuard Technologies and Citrix Systems have teamed up to release an SSL VPN gateway solution aimed at undercutting competitors and ousting IP-Sec technology from the Australian mid-market.

The move pairs WatchGuard's Firebox hardware platform with Citrix's SSL VPN Secure Access technology to introduce a professional-grade device into a market that the companies say is too often confused and poorly advised about security.

The appliance provides VPN tunnels for remote users through a Citrix Web-deployed client, granting always-on, full network access benefits. Previously this type of functionality was only realistic for organisations with IT staff capable of supporting complex implementations, said Sven Radavics, WatchGuard Australia sales manager.

According to Radavics, WatchGuard is attempting to capitalise on its growing position in network security -- second only to Cisco -- by targeting the small and medium business (SMB) space.

-Feedback is that the channel [customers] is looking for a solution and we hope this will open up an SMB market that is demanding a scalable product," said Radavics.

A previous relationship between WatchGuard and Citrix was troubled but such issues have been resolved -- Radavics said there was an overlap between the companies target markets but the new arrangement was more amenable: -Citrix will get quota recognition for the devices. We will see an increase in OEM partnerships and convergence with even some of our code in Citrix on these devices".

The new Firebox SSL Core VPN gateway is designed to be protocol and application agnostic, which the companies say eliminates a lot of the frustration small businesses have configuring IP-Sec devices.

Its starting price of AU$4,260 (with five tunnels) sits significantly lower than other VPN devices which chiefly target enterprise markets and range above AU$10,000 -- a fact Radavics hopes will encourage small businesses to purchase the product.