Blue Reef in need of distribution support

Blue Reef in need of distribution support

Network security supplier Blue Reef is on the hunt for distributors and resellers of its locally manufactured Linux-based software-loaded appliance.

Born out of an education heritage, Blue Reef's Sonar 2000 is "an embedded network administration and security gateway appliance", which bundles a diverse array of software applications. Together, they deliver an inexpensive solution to one of the hottest market segments around.

The appliance currently operates as a firewall while also delivering authentication, access control, group support, caching, logging, reporting, URL blocking and Web filtering among many other functionalities in a box that carries an RRP of under $9,000.

Next-generation products from Blue Reef will also include antivirus and intrusion detection capabilities.

With the product already popular in education markets, Damian Markwell, Blue Reef's business development manager, believes there is an enormous opportunity for resellers to sell the affordable solution into SME markets.

"Nothing else on the market does what the Sonar 2000 can do for under $9,000," Markwell said. "Despite the increased need for security, most schools and SMEs still do not implement appropriate systems. The biggest barriers to them doing so are the expenses involved, the complexity and the lack of readily available expertise."

Markwell said the Blue Reef solution addresses these and other problems faced by small and medium enterprises. He said that in offering an inexpensive and "all-in-one" package, distributors and resellers have the opportunity to earn reasonable margins and develop "maintenance and management services".

"There is a bit of resistance to entrepreneurial flair in some resellers," according to Markwell. "Security has to be one of the better opportunities in the market at the moment and I can't understand why more distributors and resellers are not getting involved."

Based in Melbourne, Blue Reef is a privately held company founded by Robert Smyth and Andrew Hall, who previously had success with e-services provider Impaq. It currently employs eight staff and manufactures the appliances at its Blackburn facility.

Blue Reef's Sonar series of appliances operate on "a hardened Linux kernel" and are "based on a multi-threaded security architecture using standardised technologies", according to Markwell.

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