Netscape Communications has unveiled the preview release of its Proxy Server 3.5 with an emphasis on improved performance and filtered access for assembling extranets.
Using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) version 3 directory services, Netscape said the new Proxy Server lets organisations publish protected content and applications to partners and customers over shared intranets, or extranets.
The LDAP v3 support also allows more centralised management of user, group, and password information. It also accesses Internet traffic outside the firewall by tunnelling SSL-based protocols, and by providing SOCKSv5 for routing support.
Proxy servers act as secure gateways that enable businesses to deploy a single dedicated machine for Internet access by dozens or hundreds of users. The servers also provide intelligent caching for faster data access and minimise bandwidth overhead during peak usage.
Corporate Internet users increasingly are turning to proxy servers to ease bandwidth demands, reduce leased-line costs, and improve security. The two leaders in the market to date are Microsoft and Netscape, but IBM and Novell also have new proxy products in the pipeline.
Netscape shipped it first Proxy Server more than 2.5 years ago. The latest preview release will be available for free download and beta next week from Netscape's Web site.
INFO: Netscape www.netscape.com.au