Stonesoft throws down VPN firewall gauntlet

Stonesoft throws down VPN firewall gauntlet

To promote the launch of its new software VPN/Firewall Appliance, enterprise-level security vendor Stonesoft has introduced a new pricing model that is designed to make the role of its resellers a lot easier.

As part of the promotion, which runs until the end of September, resellers in Australia and New Zealand will ship Stonesoft's StoneGate VPN/Firewall software at normal margin, but the server sale will be much easier because Stonesoft will rebate the end user up to $US6,500 for the server hardware to run a StoneGate two-node cluster and up to $US5,000 for the hardware to run a single StoneGate VPN/Firewall. The purchase price for the servers is rebated against the offer price on proof of purchase.

The complete Appliance is made up of Stonesoft's enterprise StoneGate VPN/Firewall -- an integrated operating system, firewall and high-availability solution -- together with the customer's choice of a range of Intel and Sun SPARC servers, onsite installation, support and basic training. Customers can choose from any server platform, provided it meets the necessary StoneGate requirements.

"This is great news for resellers," said Kai Eerola, Stonesoft's country manager, Australia and New Zealand. "It'll be easier to sell the right hardware to do the job.

"It's also a great value proposition for our customers as it gives them the freedom to choose the hardware they want to use, allowing them to control their costs."

Resellers that have completed the Certified Stonesoft Engineer qualification will also have the opportunity to install the Appliance at the customer's premises, for which they receive $1,500 per installation.

The Appliance sells for exactly the same price as the current unlimited StoneGate enterprise VPN/Firewall licence alone. Under the terms of the agreement, new appliance customers must subscribe to basic support services for one year but will receive "premium" support for the cost of basic support.

Basic support services will be provided by both Stonesoft and the channel, however Stonesoft said it will be unable to pay resellers a margin on first-year support services due to the heavily reduced price of the appliance. After one year has lapsed, resellers will earn normal margin on supplying support services.

According to Eerola, Stonesoft's decision to develop the Software Firewall Appliance was in response to demand within the enterprise firewall market for a firewall solution that did not effectively force the customer to use the hardware of a single vendor.

"Customers can make their own choice from commonly available server platforms and achieve a price-to-performance ratio that is extremely attractive. They are no longer locked into a single platform vendor forever," Eerola said.

"The market is being encouraged to upgrade to the latest versions of firewall software, but the hardware upgrade costs are often so high, the channel finds it tough to move the customer to the latest technology."

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