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Aventail goes small with SSL VPN appliance

Aventail goes small with SSL VPN appliance

Aventail is wheeling out a scaled-down, less-expensive version of its Secure Sockets Layer VPN security appliance to make the technology more attractive to smaller customers.

Called EX-750, the appliance supports up to 50 simultaneous users, while the existing EX-1500 supports up to 1000, which is more than many customers need or want to pay for.

Customers can buy the new appliance with a 25-user license for $US7000, while the same capacity on an EX-1500 costs $US9500. EX-750 also comes with a 50-user license that costs $US10,000.

The equipment sits between the Internet and corporate servers to proxy sessions secured by SSL between remote users and servers. Remote machines require an SSL-enabled Web browser, but no other client software.

Other vendors make similar gear including Cisco Systems, F5 Networks, Nokia, Nortel Networks, Juniper Networks and Whale Communications. Start-up enKoo makes a less-expensive SSL remote-access appliance - $ S1000 for 10 users - geared for small customers that lacks many features others offer. AEP Systems, a competitor focused on low pricing, sells the AG-60 appliance - which supports up to 50 remote users - for $US7000.

While Aventail's EX-750 costs the same for just 25 users, it includes all the features that its larger sibling, the EX-1500, offers.

For instance, the Aventail devices support a virtual desktop, which was an encrypted vault created on the remote machine that is wiped out after the secure session, Burton Group analyst, Eric Siegel, said.

This action leaves no trace of any files that are used during the sessions and is a feature few SSL vendors have. Called Secure Desktop, this vault is a new feature that debuted recently with the latest version of the company’s ASAP software. The new ASAP version included changes that let it run on EX-750 hardware.


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