Check Point Rolls Out VPN Appliance Line

The company said it built the VPN-1 Edge boxes to bring high-quality security to customers who often can't afford it.

A day after one of its main rivals announced a major acquisition, Check Point Software Technologies Inc. on Tuesday will unveil a line of VPN appliances designed to expand the companys presence in the small and medium-size business space and open up a new revenue stream.

The VPN-1 Edge boxes are also Check Points first real foray into the appliance market. Until now, the company has mainly concentrated on selling its virtual private networking and firewall software, although it has had a relationship with Nokia for some time, which includes Nokia putting Check Point software on its own boxes. In fact, Nokia on Tuesday also will announce a new appliance, the IP40, which is much like the new Check Point boxes and is meant for the remote-office market.

But the new line is something entirely different for Check Point. The appliances are separated into the "S" and "X" series lines and are differentiated mainly by speed and the number of concurrent connections they can handle. The S-series is meant for telecommuters and remote offices, while the X-series appliances are designed for locations that need site-to-site VPN connectivity. The higher performance X-series also includes support for multiple ISP accounts, which enables companies to have a second Internet link available in case of a failure by one provider.

Both sets of appliances include VPN functionality, along with Check Points stateful inspection firewall technology. They also include a centralized management console for provisioning and policy changes. Check Point officials said the thinking behind introducing the appliances was to bring high-quality security to customers who often cant afford it.

"We want to deliver the same level of security at the remote offices as we do at the central office," said Sweta Duseja, product manager at Check Point, based in Redwood City, Calif.

The S-8 appliance can handle 22M bps of firewall throughput and 3M bps of VPN traffic. The S-series appliance starts at $399, and the prices for the X-series go up to $1,999.

Check Points announcement follows closely NetScreen Technologies Inc.s revelation Monday that it has agreed to acquire Neoteris Inc., a provider of SSL VPNs and other security products, which will greatly expand NetScreens product lineup. NetScreen is one of Check Points main competitors in the enterprise firewall market, and the addition of the VPN technology gives the company another piece of the puzzle.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here for more on NetScreens acquisition of Neoteris.

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