Companies team on branch-office security service

Companies team on branch-office security service

Getronics is teaming up with Microsoft and Network Engines to build a branch-office security service that protects Internet connections and promotes efficient use of servers.

Called Extended Infrastructure Agility, the Getronics service will be based on Microsoft's ISA server and include a firewall, VPN, caching and Web-access filtering and wide area file services (WAFS). The software will run on a custom appliance made by Network Engines, which is displaying a prototype of the box at the RSA Conference 2006 this week.

The service includes customer network assessment, design, deployment and ongoing monitoring and maintenance, and it will be available next month, Getronics says. The company already manages desktops and servers for customers, and this new service will add to that existing business, the company says.

The service can also streamline the opening of new branch offices because it outsources much of the infrastructure branches require.

WAFS enables businesses to move servers out of branch offices and put them in a central location, reducing the number of servers needed as well as the cost of maintenance and management. By making file services practical over the Internet, WAFS enables server consolidation.

In the future, the companies plan to add to the service support for Microsoft's Live Communication Server, which supports VoIP.

Getronics will also include on the managed device its own Rapid Deployment Experience (RDX) software that distributes software images to large numbers of desktops. This capability will enable Getronics to deploy the devices in new branch offices and set up the desktops that will be used there, Getronics says.

The service is designed for branches from 10 to 1,000 employees, and can be tuned to include just those services each branch needs. Pricing for the service will depend on the number of end users, the number of branches and the functionality each branch needs.

Getronics says that it will also add more of its own software, such as its banking application, to the service over time.

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