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Astaro Breaks Out New All-in-One Security Appliances

Out of the Box Security

  • January 19, 2005
  • By Brian Proffitt

If you're one of the most acclaimed security software companies in the market, what do you do for an encore?

If you're the Astaro Corporation, you follow up your software offerings with some all-in-one hardware products.

The Burlington, Massachusetts firm announced its Astaro Security Gateway line of network security appliances yesterday, which bundles its Astaro Security Linux platform on Intel-based rack-mountable appliances.

According to Astaro CEO Jan Hichert, the move to selling all-in-ine gateway appliances was a logical conclusion to Astaro's business plan. Until this week, Astaro would sell its Security Linux distro via value-added resellers (VARs) and it would be the VARs or the customer itself who would install and configure the hardened Linux distribution for their own needs.

What the new Security Gateway product will allow customers to do, Hichert explained in an interview with LinuxPlanet, is essentially unpack the appliance, mount it on a rack, and turn it on. After some basic configuration, the appliance will be ready to go. This approach will �lower the total cost of deployment in the customer's environment,� Hichert stated, adding that the time to evaluate hardware platforms and install the Astaro Security Linux distro will be removed from the equation, thus immediately saving in labor costs.

The first four models in the line--the Astaro Security Gateway 110, 120, 220 and 320--will be available February 1. Hichert stated that these devices, which have a large range of capacity, should fit in businesses both small and large.

The price points clearly reflect this. The Astaro Security Gateway 110 starts at $695, the 120 is $995, the 220 is $1,995, and the 320 is $4,995. The 110's pricing means that an all-in-one appliance is easily attainable by even small businesses.

The capabilities of all of the Gateway products are similar in terms of software offerings. Each appliance offers users firewall, VPN gateway, and intrusion protection. Optional upgrades include virus protection, spam blocking, and URL/content filtering.

Hichert also emphasized the choice of using an Intel-based platform for the new appliances. Rather than provide customers with yet another proprietary hardware device that would further tie the customer's hands, Astaro chose to use rack-mounted PCs that would afford the end user greater flexibility and much more power than a proprietary device.

The Astaro Security Gateway appliances are configured and managed through Astaro's WebAdmin graphical interface. Administrators can manage all six Astaro security applications over the Web via an encrypted link, according to a press releasefrom the company. The release also detailed the specifications of the four new appliances:

  • The Astaro Security Gateway 110 model is a compact 177x43x229 mm �cable box� size unit that is licensed for 10 users. It has a VIA C3 800MHZ+/Eden 667MHZ processor, 256 MB memory, 20 GB internal HD and 3 Ethernet Ports.
  • The Astaro Security Gateway 120 has the same specifications as the 110, but there is no licensing limit on the number of users.
  • The Astaro Security Gateway 220 has an Intel Pentium III 1.2GHz processor, 512MB SDRAM, 168-pin 25� DIMM socket x 1, a 40 GB Internal HD / 5400 rpm and 8 x 10/100 Base-TX port.
  • The Astaro Security Gateway 320 has an Intel Pentium 4 processor 2.4GHz, 1 Gig DDR RAM, 80 GB internal HD / 7200 rpm, 4 x 10/100 Base-TX port, 4 x Gigabit Base-TX port.

Ideally, Hichert said, these products should sell well to customers who are seeking to move to broader-based security solutions without tying themselves to a single proprietary solution. The Gateway product line, he stressed, is not intended as an upsell to existing Astaro Security Linux users, as their software-based solution is the same as the Gateways'.

In the future, Hichert hopes to expand the product line, both on the high-end and on the low-end. Specifically on the low end, customers may be allowed to pick and choose amongst the services included on a specific Gateway device, rather than getting all the currently available services.

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